Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: President Obama on AIPAC & the Iraq war | Israeli startup accidentally created ‘WhatsApp for the deaf’ | Brooklyn’s Hasidic Dog Walker

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HEARD YESTERDAY: President Obama tells Jewish supporters on a conference call — “One of the challenges I’m putting to everyone on the phone is that you guys have to get more active, and loud, and involved and informed. Start making your voices heard with respect to members of Congress because the lobbying that’s taking place on the other side is fierce, well-financed, and it is relentless. In the absence of your voices, you’re going to see the same array of forces that got us into the Iraq war leading to a situation in which we forgo a historic opportunity and we are back on the path of potential military conflict.”

“The advantage now is that you have a president in the Oval Office who is on your side. But as big of a bully pulpit that I have, it’s not enough. If you have a bunch of folks who are big check writers to political campaigns, running TV ads, billionaires who happily finance super PACs, and they are putting the squeeze on members of Congress, even well meaning ones and good folks, and they don’t hear from you, this opportunity could slip away. I want everyone on the phone to get moving. Do not wait. Right now, the opponents of this deal have been flooding congressional offices. The members of Congress are feeling it and they don’t really buy the arguments of the opponents but I can tell when they start getting squishy… because they’re feeling political heat and you guys have to counteract that with the facts.” [FullRecording• Stay tuned for more Jewish outreach efforts from the White House next week…

“Did Barack Obama Hit Right Note in Call for Iran Deal Support?” by Nathan Guttman: “Tying AIPAC and those who pushed for military intervention in Iraq in the same argument, could be read as accepting the notion that the American Jewish community was behind the Iraq war. It is a notion the organized pro-Israel community has been trying to fight off for over a decade. The idea that Jews laid the groundwork for the Iraq war stems, in part, from the fact that several national security and defense advisers in the Bush administration were Jewish neo-conservatives who supported the war. The organized Jewish community, however, did not call on the Bush administration to launch a military offensive against Iraq.” [Forward]

“Obama gets personal with Dems on Iran” by Lauren French: “‘This is the most intense I’ve ever seen him,’ one lawmaker says of POTUS’ sales pitch at the White House this week.” [Politico] • “Four Democrats Get Behind Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal” [AP] • “Chris Van Hollen backs Iran agreement”[WashPost] • “Sen. Schumer in Tight Spot on Iran Pact” [WSJ]

“The Iran Nuke Documents Obama Doesn’t Want You to See” by Tim Mak: “Seventeen unclassified Iran deal items have been locked in ultra-secure facilities ordinarily used for top secret info. Why is the Obama administration trying to bury this material?” [DailyBeast]

“Iran Bans U.S. From U.N. Nuclear Inspections: Iran will not allow American or Canadian inspectors working for the U.N. nuclear watchdog to visit its nuclear facilities, an official said in remarks broadcast by state TV on Thursday.” [Time]

Josh Rogin: “Top French Official Contradicts Kerry on Iran Deal” [BloombergView]

Javad Zarif: “Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal – now it’s Israel’s turn” [TheGuardian]

Ruth Wisse: “The nuclear deal with Iran’s fanatical anti-Jewish regime will fuel racism on a global scale” [WSJ]

FRONT PAGES EVERYWHERE: “Man Gets Out of Prison for Israel Gay Parade Stabbings, Does It Again” [WSJNYPostCNNBBC] • “Attack on Gay Pride Parade Shakes Israel’s Self-Image as Bastion of Tolerance” [NYTimes• @Yair_Rosenberg: “Don’t share photos of the bigot who attacked the Jerusalem pride parade today. Share these instead” [Twitter300+ retweets • @JeffreyGoldberg: “An opportunity presents itself to Netanyahu — to treat Jewish terrorists the way his government treats Muslim terrorists.” [Twitter]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Close to 300 young professionals gathered at a Midtown rooftop for the Algemeiner Editor’s Club Summer Benefit honoring Marty Peretz and Jere Van Dyk. Peretz, in his long remarks, noted that “President Obama’s passion is for a Palestinian state and his passion is shared by John Kerry. I’ve known John Kerry for 42 years. We were in the anti-Vietnam war movement together. The President wants peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and I want it too. The President is lucky because the press also has an obsession with Israel ‘oppressing’ the Palestinians. Jeffrey Goldberg and Tom Friedman, his stenographers, and the NYTimes agree with him. I prefer the Wall Street Journal and the Algemeiner.”

–Spotted: Marc Goldman, Dovid & Mushka Efune, Andy Adler, Theo Padnos, Ari Ackerman, Evgenia Peretz, Shimon Mercer-Wood, Ari Werth, Kimberly Nathan, Bruce Slovin, Izzy Tapoohi, David Schisgall, Pierpaolo Barbieri, Laurel Touby, Marc Granetz, and Adam Katz.

2016 WATCH: “Former Marco Rubio Donors Turning to Others in Presidential Race” by Michael Bender: “After U.S. Senator Marco Rubio decided to run for president, he asked donors to transfer their contributions from his aborted re-election campaign to his bid for the White House. More than 260 didn’t. Among those who received refunds and gave to other candidates were Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.” [Bloomberg]

“Democrats Far Behind GOP In Raising Money For ’16 Super PACs” by Julie Bykowicz: “Hillary Rodham Clinton has a message for the country’s wealthiest Democrats: I need you, unfortunately. Some of the top donors in Democratic politics have given massive checks to Priorities, including entertainment executive Haim Saban, whose $2 million gift makes him the largest donor to the super PAC so far, and hedge fund billionaire George Soros at $1 million.” [AP• Top talker: “Koch Brothers Brave Spotlight to Try to Alter Their Image” [NYTimes]

“Ricketts family gives more than $5 million to Walker super PAC” by Robert Costa: “The Ricketts family sweepstakes are over and Scott Walker has won handily, according to Republicans familiar with Unintimidated, the super PAC supporting the Wisconsin governor and presidential candidate.”[WashPost• “Scott Walker’s Big Giveaway to Hillary Donor Marc Lasry” [DailyBeast]

“Graham super-PAC raises nearly $3M” by Ben Kamisar: “Ronald Perelman, the billionaire investor that’s a member of Graham’s national finance team, gave a half-million… Adelson doesn’t appear to have given to the super-PAC directly, but another co-chair, former American Enterprise Institute board member Roger Hertog, donated $100,000 a week after the event.” [TheHill]

Cruz to speak at synagogue: Senator Ted Cruz will speak at the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills, CA on Saturday. Cruz will be introduced by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach between morning services. [Eventbrite]

RISING STARS: “Meet the Skimm: The e-mail newsletter that got Hillary Clinton to talk about her weaknesses” by Philip Bump: “The Skimm was founded in 2012 by Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, two young NBC News veterans who’d met at college in Europe. They realized that the constant questions posed by their friends about what was going on in the world could be better answered by sending out a morning e-mail. A round of Series A venture capital funding to the tune of $6.25 million later, the Skimm is now a bit more sophisticated, with an audience that numbers over 1.5 million.” [WashPost]

**Good Friday 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: “Billionaire Steven Cohen Gives $2 Million to Whitney Museum in New York” [Bloomberg] • “Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson donates $8.5M to Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy” [NYPostNYTimes] • “Tycoon Gaydamak suing Russian chief rabbi, diamond magnate” [ToI] • “Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media files for bankruptcy protection” [NYPostNYTimesWSJ]• “Chetrit and Clipper Land $345M Global Debt Deal for Gramercy Square Condos” [Observer• “Ted Lerner’s bet on Silver Line gets its reward” [WashPost] • “Rubin Schron refinances 45 Broadway for $95M” [RealDeal] • Why Mark Cuban has high expectations for uBeam” [Fortune]

STARTUP NATION: “An Israeli accelerator grows in New York” by Niv Elis: “IcoNYC came together when Eyal Bino and Arie Abecassis, two Israeli-born innovators, met in New York and got to discussing how to help Israeli companies get a foot in the door early on and integrate their US operations as they grew.” [JPost]

“A startup from Israel has accidentally created ‘WhatsApp for the deaf’ by Josh Horwitz:“Caras and his co-founders envisioned Glide to be like WhatsApp but for video messages, where users send short clips of themselves. But once Glide hit the app stores, and accumulated 10 million users worldwide, the team realized they had accidentally created something quite different—a hit among America’s hearing impaired. Glide currently has 20 million registered users, of which Caras estimates about 250,000 of are deaf.” [Quartz]

“The Ordeal That Made Me a Student of Humanity” by Dan Ariely: “In 1984, as a 17-year-old high-school student in Israel, I was a member of a youth movement that focused on study, civic work and preparation for military service… One Friday afternoon, as we began putting away these materials, there was an accident. Nobody knows exactly what happened, but a spark must have been struck somewhere. A large magnesium flare—the kind that the Israeli military uses to light up a battlefield—exploded right next to me. In a moment, I was engulfed by flames.” [WSJ]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “French Jewish Immigrants Flock to Israeli Coastal City” by Aron Heller: “The coastal city of Netanya markets itself as the “Israeli Riviera” and walking along its main pedestrian boulevard, one would be hard-pressed to tell it apart from its twin city of Nice. Barely a word of Hebrew is spoken, and real estate ads, restaurant menus and cafe conversations are mostly in French.” [AP]

“An Israeli’s Escape From Colombian Justice” by Wesley Tomaselli: “As he passed his bag through the metal detector, ready to climb aboard his flight out of Bogotá with a ticket to Lima in hand, Yair Klein looked over toward the flight gate and froze. Colombian authorities were checking passports. “Without a doubt they were looking for me,” he would later recount.” [Ozy]

“Meet Brooklyn’s Fearless Hasidic Dog Walker: An Ultra Orthodox gentleman with a giddy pup in tow may not be an odd sight to everyone, but for those aware of the cultural taboo and relatively benign stereotype that religious Jews fear dogs, Gottdenger sticks out like a bagel at a Passover seder.” [Gothamist]

Tablet podcast debut: “The podcast is hosted by editor-at-large Mark Oppenheimer and features senior writer Liel Leibovitz and Stephanie Butnick… On our first episode, Sandler vs. Samberg, we talk about the new movie Pixels, the latest in a string of films from Sandler that has some of us wondering exactly how bad a script has to be for him to turn it down.” [TabletMag]

SPORTS BLINK: “Hockey in Israel? Dallas Stars alums to host charity game against Israeli national team: When people think of Israel in regards to sports, hockey would probably be one of the last sports to enter people’s minds. But hockey is growing in Israel, so much so that Israel now has a national hockey team. The Dallas Stars alumni will get more acquainted with Israeli hockey when they host an exhibition game against the Israeli national team in September.” [FoxSports]

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: A long time ago I learned that drinking wine (or any great alcohol) is not only about the quality of the wine but also about whom you are drinking it with. The two wineries I wrote about in previous weeks, Flam and Ben Haim, are owned by interesting and dynamic families whose company is as lively as the wine they produce. The Pelter brothers, Nir and Tal, have built two wineries (one kosher and the other not) in the Golan Heights. They use a great plethora of grape varietals. In the future I will spend time writing about their T-Selection wines — all quite edgy and interesting.

Today I am writing about the CB wine under the label of their Matar Series. This is a luscious wine. It is creamy and soft but has wonderful depth and sophistication. Not overpowering – I would drink it with chicken and fish – although it would definitely hold up to a steak. The wine is 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Shiraz, 6% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. The wine is aged for 22 months in a mixture of new and used French oak barrels. The grapes are a blend from the upper Galilee and the Jerusalem Hills. There is a lot of plum flavor on the mid-palate, and a hint of blueberries on the finish.

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Mark Cuban turns 57… Holocaust historian Michael Berenbaum… Helene Miller-Walsh… Sean ‘Simcha’ Eldridge turns 29… Lev Leviev turned 59 (yesterday)… Shimon Peres turns 92 (Sunday)… Yerucham Silber…

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