Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Obama to Congress – “U.S. will still press Iran” | Bernie Sanders assures Jewish friend, “I didn’t eat the Iowa pork chops” | Brin BDay

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FAST FORWARD: “After Obama, an Improvement in U.S.-Israeli Relations?” by Aaron David Miller: “If Hillary Clinton is elected president, her experience in dealing with Israelis would prompt her to try to set a new frame of reference and seek to drain personal animosity from the relationship. Hillary isn’t Bill… But she is a Clinton. Despite her dust-ups with Prime Minister Netanyahu during her tenure as secretary of state, she is likely to do a better job of handling him than President Obama has.”

“Any of the 17 Republican candidates would also want to normalize the relationship with Israel. At a minimum, there will be an effort to separate the new president’s policy from the old… But politicians of all stripes know that campaigning is one thing and governing another. Continued Israeli settlement activity and policies toward the West Bank will create problems with both Democrats and Republicans. Let’s not forget that the father and brother of one Republican candidate, Jeb Bush, wrestled with tough-minded Israeli prime ministers over some of the same issues.” [WSJ]

2016 WATCH: “All signs point to Joe Biden jumping into 2016 race” by Marisa Schultz: “The Draft Biden organization had raised just under $79,000 through June 30, but now momentum for Biden has been so “tremendous” that the super PAC is well on its way to raise $2.5 million to $3 million by the end of September, a senior adviser for the PAC told The Post.” [NYPost]

“Bernie Sanders Evokes Obama of ’08, but With Less Hope” by Jason Horowitz: “Back in Burlington after the weekend, Mr. Sanders called his close friend Richard Sugarman, a University of Vermont professor of Jewish philosophy and self-described “biblical socialist.” Mr. Sugarman said he grilled the candidate on whether he had eaten a pork chop (“I didn’t,” Mr. Sanders, who is also Jewish, assured him), listened to Mr. Sanders confide that “This celebrity stuff is strange,” and discussed “how far he’s come.” “His enthusiasm is growing” Mr. Sugarman said.” [NYTimes]

“Over 100,000 People Want Jon Stewart to Host a Presidential Debate” by Maya Rhodan: “A group of Stewart fans launched a Change.org petition about two weeks ago, shortly after the comedian left his post as host of the Daily Show, asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to consider letting Stewart grill candidates during a future contest. At the time of this writing, the petition was about 31,000 signatures shy of its 150,000 signature goal.” [TimeMag]

“Christie Confirms He Will Attend Press Conference Opposing Iran Deal” by JT Aregood:“Governor Chris Christie will be in attendance at a press conference at The IDT Yeshiva in Newark to show his solidarity with state Republicans who oppose President Obama’s deal with Iran. The conference will take place at eleven o’clock next Tuesday. A release from Jewish leaders described the event as a “Press Conference Urging Senator Cory Booker and Members of New Jersey Congressional Delegation to follow the example of Senator Robert Menendez and Oppose The Iran Deal.” [PolitickerNJ]

Countdown to September: “In Letter, Obama Tells Congress U.S. Will Still Press Iran” by Jonathan Weisman: “In his most comprehensive effort to assure wavering Democrats, President Obama wrote in a letter to Congress that the United States would unilaterally maintain economic pressure and deploy military options if needed to deter Iranian aggression, both during and beyond the proposed nuclear accord. The Aug. 19 letter, obtained by The New York Times, is addressed to Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, but is also aimed at other Democrats with concerns about the deal.” [NYTimesLetter• “Jerrold Nadler, New York Congressman, to Endorse Iran Nuclear Deal” [NYTimes]

“Obama’s Democrats face intense pressure as they weigh Iran deal” by Andy Sullivan and Warren Strobel: “In the Senate, 26 of the chamber’s 44 Democrats have said they support the deal and two have said they will oppose it, according to a Reuters tally. That means opponents of the deal need to win over at least 11 of the 18 senators who remain undecided. “I would say we have a fighting chance,” said former Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman, who is making calls while recovering from knee surgery on behalf of Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, an interest group that opposes the deal.” [Reuters• “Red-state Democrats back Obama on Iran” [Politico• “Poll: Most Americans want Congress to reject Iran deal” [CNN• “Iran deal ads running in at least 23 states, including Florida, Texas, California and Pennsylvania” [PowerPost]

David Horovitz: “That “what if” question is a tough one, indeed. What if we vote against? What if we defy the president? But there’s another side to that question, which those anguished, responsible Democratic legislators must also ask themselves: What if we let this bad joke of a deal go through?” [ToI]

President Obama To Address Jewish Community in Live Webcast Next Week: “President Obama will participate in a live webcast, on Friday, August 28 at 2:10PM, to deliver remarks to and take questions from participants across the United States and Canada in an event co-sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and The Jewish Federations of North America.” [JewishFederations]

“After Nuclear Deal With West, Iran Gears Up to Cash In” by Thomas Erdbrink: “They had no one to sell to inside Iran but now, with the nuclear deal done, everything is falling into place,” said one well-established Iranian-American consultant who asked to remain anonymous because his business activities are punishable under United States law as long as sanctions remain in place. “A lot of people here have started pulling out their calculators.” [NYTimes]

We hear… that Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, was in Israel this week where he met with, among others, Danny Danon, the recently appointed Israeli envoy to the United Nations. When asked about the meeting, Hoenlein told us “it was a very open, frank, productive and honest discussion.” Hoenlein said he found Danon to be “very realistic and open to input.” Danon is expected to officially assume the position in October.

Dov Zakheim: “Once again the prime minister of Israel has made a strategic mistake,” Dov Zakheim told Haaretz. The appointment of Danon to the critical diplomatic post at the UN,“undermines the credibility of Netanyahu’s assertion that he really supports a two-state solution.” [Haaretz]

“Making Sense of Israel’s Odd UN Appointment” by Daniel Gordis: “Perhaps Netanyahu, recognizing Danon’s talent, believes that the best place to learn how to speak on the world stage is … on the world stage. For his own political ends, Netanyahu appears to have sent Danon into exile. For Danon’s sake and Israel’s, however, Netanyahu appears to have sent him back to school.” [BloombergView]

“Progressive Groups Ask Obama To End Bush-Era Religious Protection” by Chris Geidner:“On Thursday morning, 130 civil rights and religious organizations, unions, and other progressive groups sent a letter to President Obama urging that he direct the Justice Department to reverse a Bush-era legal opinion about the scope of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The 2007 memo from the Office of Legal Counsel concluded that, under RFRA, religious organizations seeking federal grants could not be forced to adhere to religious nondiscrimination laws in hiring.” [BuzzFeed

–Signing organizations include… American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Hadassah, Interfaith Alliance, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Keshet, Na’amat USA, National Council of Jewish Women, Nehirim, The Rabbinal Assembly, Union for Reform Judaism, and Women of Reform Judaism.

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Mort Zuckerman says New York Daily News is off the market” by Tali Arbel: “In an internal memo that was sent Thursday to The Associated Press, Zuckerman says that after meeting with “several potential interested and well-intentioned suitors,” he’s withdrawing the paper from the market. He had said in February that he had been approached by a potential buyer.” [APFishbowlNY] • According to the New York Post, “Zuckerman calling off Daily News sale ‘will damage its credibility’” [NYPost]

“Bloomberg cuts to focus on politics, government reporters” by Dylan Byers: “Since returning to his company last year, Michael Bloomberg has been resolute about streamlining redundancies and focusing on a core mission: providing financial news and data through the company’s principal revenue generator, the Bloomberg Terminal. By the fall, it will have taken the jobs of roughly 100 editorial staffers, primarily the politics and government reporters in Washington and New York.” [Politico]

“40 old high school yearbook photos of Wall Street’s titans” by Julia La Roche: Titans include Lloyd Blankfein, Stephen Schwarzman, Henry ‘Hank’ Kravis, Lynn Tilton, Ken Moelis, Gary Cohn, Barry Rosenstein, Marc Lasry, Steve Cohen, Daniel Loeb, David Einhorn, and David Tepper. [BusinessInsider]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Spitzer’s first development foray “socks” the waterfront” [RealDeal] • “The Luxury Brooklyn Apartment Complex at the Site of a Former Prison” [Vice] • “Aby Rosen buys block of Devonshire House condos for $32M” [RealDeal] • “Box CEO Aaron Levie returns as Hightower investor” [BizJournal• “Westfield betting on food in Century City mall revamp” [LATimes]

STARTUP NATION: “Israeli App Security Startup Snags $2.3M Seed Round” by Ron Miller: “AppInside, a tool designed to help app developers check for security vulnerabilities, announced a $2.3 million seed round from Boston’s Accomplice today. When a company commissions an app, they are putting their brand’s reputation on the line when people download it to their tablet or smartphone, Elon Ohevya, co-founder and CEO of AppInside told TechCrunch… The company, which is currently based in Tel Aviv will leave its engineering team in place in Israel, but will move its headquarters to Boston as part of the deal.” [TechCrunch• “Israel Misses Gas-Wealth Opportunities” [WSJ]

“Philadelphia to Tel Aviv Route to be Discontinued” by Linda Loyd: “American Airlines will discontinue flights between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv, Israel, in January because the route was losing money with intense competition from the New York-area airports. American will close its station in Tel Aviv. The airline does not fly to Israel from another city. The Nutter administration called on Philadelphia’s largest airline, with 76 percent of the market, to reevaluate the decision, saying it was “very disappointed.” The mayor has made two economic development trips to Israel in recent years.” [PhillyAPFA]

FRIDAY FOLLOW: Brett Ratner (@BrettRat) is currently in Israel where he’s hanging out with Yair Netanyahu, Mariah Carey and James Packer [Instagram]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Rabbi Sharon Brous was voted America’s most influential Rabbi in 2013. She talks about how young American Jews view the institutions around Judaism. She says their ancestors built spaces more akin to “country clubs” as a way to create community in the US.” [BBC]

“Amy A. Kass, RIP” by Yuval Levin: “Amy Kass, who died yesterday after a long and courageous struggle with cancer, was without a doubt the best teacher I ever saw in action. Amy’s teaching and writing were driven by the conviction that the stories we tell shape our souls and bind us together, and by the worry that we too often now fail to take care about how our souls are shaped and how (or whether at all) we are bound together in community.” [NROWSHudson]

DESSERT: “At Tuscany’s Only Kosher Winery, Owners Can’t Touch the Chianti” by Ben Sales: “We must be crazy to make kosher wine in Tuscany,” laughed Pellegrini, who, according to Jewish law, cannot touch the wine because she is not Jewish. “Others tried to make kosher wine, but it’s not easy. It’s not a joke.” Other non-kosher Tuscan wineries have occasionally produced a run of kosher wine, but since it began producing bottles eight years ago, Terra di Seta has been the only fully kosher winery in central Italy’s Chianti region. [Forward/JTA]

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: “Up until now I have reviewed red wines, all of them robust and full bodied. Today, I am deviating and going with one of my favorite white wines: The Recanati Special Reserve – Roussanne/Marsanne 2012. This is an absolutely brilliant wine, built to tantalize the whole palette. The wine has flavors which, while all encompassing, still blend together beautifully. The most notable flavors are pineapple, peach and apricot. This Recanati white is made of a blend of Roussanne and Marsanne grapes and is aged in on the lees (skin and seeds) in french oak for 8 months — a unique aging process for a white wine. The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation so it has a very healthy balance of fruit and acidity. Drink this wine with a meaty fish or light poultry. [Recanati]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Sergey Brin turns 42… Ken Mehlman turns 49… Irwin Wecker… Ofra Strauss turns 55… Paul Singer turns 71… Michael Fragin… Scooter Libby turns 65… Norman Braman turns 83… Richard Zeskind… David Adelman (yesterday)… Marque Lampert… Joyce Fox… Robin Elcott…

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