ASPEN IDEAS HIGHLIGHTS: David Petraeus told Jeffrey Goldberg, when asked if it’s likely the Israelis will conduct military action against Iran, that “Israel is very cognizant of its limitations.” Petraeus said he believes, if need be, President Obama would conduct a military strike and that the U.S. has the tool to do so — the “Massive Ordnance Penetrator” (MOP) that no one else has or is able to carry.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Lindsey Graham and the ties between foreign and domestic policy: “Lindsey Graham was here yesterday and was asked about the Grand Doctrine as it relates to ISIS and he said “the Grand Doctrine is however long it takes, no matter how much cost it takes, and whatever it takes.” You don’t really have the luxury of doing that when you’re the chief executive of a city or of a country. Congress tells us don’t come to us about helping with police until a bomb goes off that they think might be connected to a terrorist organization. What are we protecting ourselves from? The answer is, a good answer, people coming over here and killing an American. On the streets of America every day, before we go home tonight, 40 Americans will be killed. I don’t hear anybody saying we need a surge on the streets to protect ourselves. I haven’t heard one Senator say “no matter how much it takes, no matter how long it takes, no matter what it takes” we’re going to make sure the streets of America are safe.”
–Landrieu On Mayors Sharing Best Practices: “The Mayor of Jerusalem and I had a conversation last year. You know what we were talking about? How do you collect somebody’s water bill when they refuse to pay. Mayors around the world are sharing best practices about how to run our governments.”
Day One Impressions: The Aspen Ideas Festival appears to be the premier Jewish conference of the annual circuit. Although not officially Jewish, it’s difficult to walk a few feet without running into another MOT. Forget the snacks and countless bottles of Fiji water or Izze juice readily available at every turn, what makes the Ideas Festival, or as Mike Allen calls it “D.C.’s version of summer camp,” unique is that pretty much everyone is important (or at least perceived to be) so no one really feels the need to act important. Also, because it’s not primarily a fundraising event, there is really no tiered access. Where else do you find former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly casually strolling around campus meeting fellow attendees or David Brooks and Katie Couric standing off to the side while Tom Steyer and David Rubenstein walk by.
No Show: Isaac Herzog cancelled his schedule appearance at the last minute.
So where was Herzog instead? Our sources spotted Herzog at U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro’s annual Independence Day celebration in the sprawling backyard of the Ambassador’s residence in Herzliya overlooking the Mediterranean. The celebration, complete with fireworks and a performance from the Whiffenpoofs of Yale, was also attended by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara, President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Malcolm Hoenlein, Abe Foxman, Israeli singers Eyal Golan and Idan Raichel, Julie Fisher, Moshe Arens, Tal Brody, Avi Mayer, Peter Lerner, Shai Franklin. As he is currently on his book tour, Michael Oren was not spotted but apparently MK Oren Hazan was. [Pics]
Scene Last Night: Senator Chuck Schumer conducting the final encore for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s performance at Carnegie Hall. [Picture]
Airport Scene: “Let Chabad of Santa Fe be the first to welcome Mayor Bill de Blasio to New Mexico! Enjoy your stay!” [Twitter; JP]
IRAN TALKS: “U.S., Europeans Secure Guarantee to Reimpose Iran Sanctions” by Henry Meyer, Kambiz Foroohar: “The U.S. and its European allies have secured a way to snap back United Nations sanctions on Iran if it violates an accord curbing its nuclear program, according to diplomats from three countries negotiating with the Islamic Republic. The UN Security Council will need to periodically approve a resolution maintaining sanctions relief, they said.” [Bloomberg]
“Iran Nuclear Talks Could Stall Over Access to Scientists and Sites” by David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon: “In the final push for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran, accounting for the accomplishments of Mr. Fakhrizadeh and his team of university scientists, missile engineers and military officers is emerging as one of the last and most formidable obstacles — perhaps on a par with the question of whether inspectors will be able, on short notice, to step into any place they suspect might conceal bomb-related work.” [NYTimes] • “Bunker-Buster Bomb No Sure Way to Stop Iran If Talks Fail”[Bloomberg]
Dennis Ross: “Content of an Iran deal matters more than timing” [StarTribune]
Michael Oren: “Iran deal bad for Israel, U.S. and World” [CNN]
Kevin McCarthy: “Obama needs to walk away from an awful deal with Iran” [WashPost]
2016 WATCH: “What We Can and Can’t Learn About Hillary from Her Emails About Israel” by Yair Rosenberg: “Some partisans have seized upon a September 2009 message in which Clinton wrote to her long-time adviser Sidney Blumenthal about his son Max‘s literary career, praising his book Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party… At the time, the younger Blumenthal had begun to make a name for himself as a critic of the very existence of the Jewish state… A more consequential email chain shows Clinton going to bat for Israel after the Edinburgh Film Festival in the U.K. announced that it would not accept any Israeli government funding.” [TabletMag] • “How Jewish Aides Helped Hillary Clinton Fit In With Obama” [Forward]
“Soros helps pro-Clinton Super PACs to $20 million haul” by Kenneth P. Vogel: “American Bridge 21st Century, an opposition research super PAC founded by Clinton enforcer David Brock, will disclose raising $7.7 million — including $1 million from Soros — to the Federal Election Commission before a July 15 deadline, an official with the group said Wednesday.” [Politico] • “Hillary Clinton Raises Record $45 Million in First Quarter of Campaign” [Bloomberg]
“Labor Leader Joins Bernie Sanders’ Campaign, Citing Clinton’s ‘Silence’ On Fast Track” Dave Jamieson: “Larry Cohen, outgoing president of the Communications Workers of America, told The Huffington Post he will serve as an unpaid volunteer stumping for Sanders as the Vermont senator seeks the Democratic nomination.” [HuffPost]
“Our man in Havana: Barack Obama?” by Edward Isaac-Dovere: “Really, the only question left is when President Barack Obama’s going to Cuba. Not if. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel there later this summer, Obama announced Wednesday morning in yet another triumphant trip to the Rose Garden, where he’ll officially raise the American flag over the new Embassy. But people around Obama acknowledge there’s no way Obama’s going to want to let any other president be the first American president to go back to Havana.” [Politico]
Ted Cruz: “It’s unacceptable and a slap in the face of a close ally that the United States will have an embassy in Havana before one in Jerusalem.” [Twitter] • “How sad is it that under the Obama administration the United States is going to have an embassy in Havana before we have an embassy in Jerusalem, that this administration will be friendlier to a Communist dictator who hates America and seeks to undermine our nation, than it is willing to stand with our close friend and ally, the nation of Israel? I think it’s wrong.” [HughHewittShow]
REPORT: “U.S. Never Asked Alan Gross About His Imprisonment in Cuba” by James Kirchick: “After spending more than five years in a Cuban jail, former USAID contractor Alan Gross is probably in possession of a lot of information that the United States government would like to know. How did Cuban officials become aware of his work bringing internet access to the island’s tiny Jewish community? What were the conditions like inside the Valla Marista prison, where he was held?… Yet according to an authoritative source, no U.S. government official has debriefed Gross since he was released from a Cuban jail last December.” [DailyBeast]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Leon Black’s Sell-Everything Call Has Been Heard by His Rivals” [Bloomberg] • “Playtech, founded by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, said it had agreed to buy currency trading platform Ava Trade for $105 million to expand its online trading platform.” [Reuters] • “Mark Cuban, David Schottenstein lend into Fashion Brand – Mizzen+Main” [ILM]
STARTUP NATION: “$1 coffee chain taps into Israeli anger over high cost of living” by Steven Scheer and Tova Cohen: “With a $1 cup of coffee, Avi Katz is starting to do something Israelis have been demanding for years and politicians have failed to achieve — lower the cost of living. In late 2013, Katz launched Cofix, an increasingly popular coffee and snack chain modeled on dollar stores in the United States that has grown to 80 outlets across Israel, mainly on busy streets in urban centers. “Everyone knew you can buy coffee for five shekels. When you buy in large quantities, it’s cheap,” said Katz, who heads private investment fund Hagshama.” [Reuters]
REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Miami Real Estate Developer Jeff Soffer Joins Billionaire Ranks” [Forbes] • “Gary Barnett, Carlyle bringing 244 more resi units to Riverside Center” [RealDeal] • “Douglas makes another Northeast industrial buy” [BizJournal]
Transitions: “Daryl Messinger of Palo Alto, CA, has been nominated to serve as the next Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Messinger will become the first woman to hold the top lay leadership position in the URJ.”
“Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty recently appointed in a unanimous vote Abraham (Abe) Biderman, a member of the board of trustees of Agudath Israel of America and a former New York City Finance and Housing Commissioner, as President of the board, effective July 1.” [JP]
Top Talker: “Nicholas Winton, Rescuer of 669 Children From Holocaust, Dies at 106” by Robert D. McFadden: “Nicholas Winton, a Briton who said nothing for a half-century about his role in organizing the escape of 669 mostly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, a righteous deed like those of Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg, died on Wednesday in Maidenhead, England. He was 106.” [NYTimes; BBC; CNN]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “Jewish couple sues bumbling gunman for ruining Waldorf Astoria wedding” by Barbara Ross, Denis Slattery: “Newlyweds Anna Goldshmidt and Elan Stratt want klutzy gunman Vladimir Gotlibovsky to foot the bill for their cancelled June 13 reception at the swanky hotel, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court by lawyers Benjamin Brafman and David Jaroslawicz.” [DailyNews; PageSix]
DESSERT: “Kosher BBQ Fires Up In Crown Heights” by Hannah Dreyfus: “Izzy’s BBQ Addiction, the long-awaited kosher smokehouse in Crown Heights, is finally open for service.At last week’s soft opening, customers lined up out the door, many forced to take food to go because of the limited seating. The 600-square-foot location on 397 Troy Ave. at Montgomery Street seats 25 to 30, plus a few tables outside during the summer.” [JewishWeek]
BIRTHDAYS: Larry David turns 68… Charlie Harary turns 38…
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