Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Iran deal one vote away in Senate | AIPAC not giving up | Spotlight on Cardin, Booker | Falic family to host Cruz tonight

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TOP TALKER: “Iran deal only one vote away from getting through” by Ted Barrett and Deirdre Walsh: “Supporters of the Iran nuclear agreement are now just one vote shy of locking in enough support to preserve the deal after two Senate Democrats said Tuesday they would back it. Just about an hour apart, Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania announced their support.”

“More senior House Democrats also endorsed the Iran agreement on Tuesday. Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, released a statement saying he backed the agreement. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, also said he would vote for it. Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush and New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries announced their support, too.” [CNNNYTimesWashPost]

SPOTLIGHT: “With just 10 senators still undecided on Iran, many eyes on Ben Cardin” by Rachel Weiner: “It’s been intense,” Cardin said after the forum at John Hopkins. “Most is healthy, but there’s been some people on both sides that I think have gone further than is useful.”… Only one more senator is needed to dash the GOP’s hopes of blocking the accord. But after the meeting, Cardin refused to say whether he’d be the decisive 34th vote to ensure that a resolution to kill the Iran deal would withstand a veto.” [WashPostPolitico]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Approximately 1,800 pro-Israel activists gathered last night at Beth Tfiloh Congregation in Pikesville, MD, to oppose the Iran Deal. AIPAC’s Baltimore office hastily organized the event in a mere three days and drew a diverse crowd from across the religious spectrum. Featured speakers included Beth Tfiloh’s Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg, AIPAC’s Howard Kohr, and Michael Pregent, Executive Director of Veterans Against the Iran Deal. How it played — [FoxBaltimoreBaltimoreSunPJWBAL

Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg: “Under normal circumstances, I would thank you for coming out tonight. These are not normal circumstances and I don’t thank you for coming. Rather I wonder how it is possible that others were able not to come… I received an email from J Street today… Let me tell you how I responded. There are some American Jews who support the deal and sincerely feel this is in Israel’s best interest. This is their right. But given that every major American Jewish organization has come out against the deal, and over 80% of the people in Israel are against the deal, and every major Israeli political leader has come out against the deal, if you as an American Jew has done what J Street has done, lobby and give money to override the gut feelings of the people of Israel, putting their security at risk, then go ahead call yourself ‘pro peace’ but don’t call yourself ‘pro-Israel.’ (applause) And I concluded “Keep J Street off my street. (applause)”

AIPAC’s Howard Kohr: “It’s our belief that if we can move the members of this [Maryland] delegation, it will have an impact on other delegations… What we’re doing here, and don’t anyone tell you different, we are American citizens that can stand up and disagree with our government if we think they’re wrong. It’s the beauty of being an American… That voice only matters if you use it.”

“Graham, Lieberman to Senate Dems: Rethink Your Support of Iran Deal” by Jacob Kornbluh: “President Obama says the ‘crazies’ will vote no. Let me tell ya, you’re crazy if you vote yes,” Graham told the crowd. “You’re crazy to give the ayatollah $100 billion; you’re crazy to give him a pathway to the bomb, and you’re crazy to give him the missile to deliver it.” [JPObserver]

Seth Lipsky: “It’s plain as day that the Jewish community is not unanimous on Iran. Then again, the only thing on which it’s ever been unanimous is on the singularity of God. Even then, it’s unanimous only if one excludes the atheists. It strikes me that the Jewish community is less divided and troubled over the Iran deal than it is, say, on matrilineal descent, or German reparations, or Zionism, or same-sex marriage, or conversion, or negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs. No, the startling thing about the Iran deal is how united the Jewish community is in opposition.” [Haaretz]

Peter Beinart: “How Obama Defeated AIPAC on Iran” [Haaretz]

Steve Inskeep: “How The Iran Vote Is Engineered To Pass: It’s a representative democracy, where the majority rules. Except when the majority agrees in advance that they won’t.” [NPR]

Cory Booker on Iran Deal: “I want to make that decision before I return from recess to go down there,” said Booker. “But this has been a very divisive issue, but as I said earlier today, now that we see the president starting to line up his votes we’ve got to start engaging in that region because whether you’re pro-deal or anti-deal, we do know it’s going to give the regime more resources to do more negative – in my opinion, evil – things. This is the largest state sponsor of terrorism, we’ve got to start moving as a country to protect against that. Whether it’s the Houthis in Yemen or the Hezbollah in Lebanon, or Hamas, these are groups that seem to be doing terrible things – not just to Israel, but to Americans as well. So, my focus is getting to a point of making a decision on the deal itself, but immediately pivot to start working with our allies to how we’re going to better secure that region, because while we want to take away Iran’s nuclear capabilities, we also want to make sure we’re preventing them from doing the kinds of destructive things they’ve done in the past.” [SNJtoday] • “Ads seek to sway N.J.’s Booker on Iran deal” [NJ]

Shmuley Boteach: “Senator Booker’s Spokesperson Errs on Iran Pressure” [WorldValues]

As a reader pointed out to us the other day, Boteach may actually be providing Booker with an extra incentive to support the deal. According to Boteach (in the previous link), “Cory and I are will always be soul-friends.” While that may be true, Booker can also use the opportunity to show that the Rabbi doesn’t influence any of his policy decisions.

“Iran Deal Divides Two Jewish Democrats Running for Congress Against Each Other” by Kimberly Railey: “While former Rep. Brad Schneider is call­ing on Con­gress to op­pose the deal, High­land Park May­or Nancy Roter­ing is back­ing the agree­ment. The win­ner of their primary will face Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Robert Dold—who has said he re­jects the ac­cord—in a dis­trict where U.S.-Is­rael re­la­tions have long been a fo­cus and where both can­did­ates have long, in­volved re­cords with loc­al and na­tion­al Jew­ish groups.” [NationalJournal]

DRIVING THE DAY: At 11AM, “Secretary of State John Kerry offers a defense of the Iran nuclear agreement in remarks at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The speech comes ahead of expected congressional votes on a resolution of disapproval by September 17.” [CSPAN]

At 7:15PM, the JCC in Cherry Hill, New Jersey hosts an “Iran Nuclear Deal Community Forum featuring keynote remarks along with an audience Q&A session with Alan Dershowitz and Peter Beinart.” [JCRC]

2016 WATCH: “How Sidney Blumenthal Tried And Failed To Pull Hillary Clinton To The Left On Foreign Policy” by Rosie Gray: “It’s not clear that it had much effect, but the longtime Clinton confidant often emailed secretary pieces, speeches, and analysis to the left of her positions — especially on Israel.” [BuzzFeed• “How top Clinton confidants talk about Israel when no one’s listening” by Max Fisher [Vox]

“Baiting a Hook in Minneapolis, Bernie Sanders Was Torn Between Herring and Bagels” by Jason Horowitz: “In Minneapolis, for a campaign event at the end of May, the candidate reported the positive response back to his good friend Richard Sugarman in Burlington, Vt. “What are you serving for breakfast?” Mr. Sugarman asked. “Phil!” Mr. Sanders called over to his longtime field director, Phil Fiermonte, “What are we serving for breakfast?” “‘Bernard, why don’t you try herring,” Mr. Sugarman suggested. “A lot of these people are Scandinavian.” Mr. Sanders, apparently confident they weren’t there for the spread, responded, “Maybe bagels.”” [FirstDraft]

HAPPENING TONIGHT: The Falic family hosts a fundraiser for Sen. Ted Cruz in Bal Harbour. Event co-chairs include William Hubbell, Eytan Laor, Ari Kempler, Cherna Moskowitz, and Edith & John Slavic. [FLPlaybook]

MIDDLE EAST: “Key Ally Distances Himself From Work of Businessman Dubbed ‘Jewish Schindler'” [ViceNews]

“In West Bank, Speculation Abounds Over Mahmoud Abbas’s Plans” by Jodi Rudoren: “The political class in Ramallah is rife with conflicting interpretations of Mr. Abbas’s latest moves, which center on his call for a meeting this month of the Palestinian National Council, a body of 700-plus members that has not had a regular session since 1996.” [NYTimes]

**Good Wednesday 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: “Sheldon Adelson’s Sands China Recruits Alan Dershowitz For Lawsuit Appeal” [AP] • “A Conversation With Janno Lieber, president of Larry Silverstein’s World Trade Center Properties” [NYTimes• “FAA warns six Miami towers could be too tall, including Related Group and Chetrit Group projects” [BizJournals] • Casey Wasserman explains why the United States Olympic Committee originally chose Boston over Los Angeles [Boston] • “Guy Oseary and Ashton Kutcher join Unikrn’s Series A” [BusinessWire] • “Hasidic Developer Wins Dismissal of Racketeering Suit by New York Town” [Forward] • “For Hasidic Jew who consults for Google, no college degree required” [JTA]

PROFILE: “Taking on Toby” by Mark Maurer: “Developer Toby Moskovits is helping usher in a wave of commercial growth in Brooklyn, but she’s leaving former partners in her wake.” [RealDeal]

TRANSITION: “Josh Miller Leaves Facebook For The White House” by Connie Loizos: “Miller, 24, who sold his company to Facebook in January of last year for a reported $15 million, announced last week that he was leaving the social network for something new. That endeavor, he disclosed publicly today, is as the White House’s first Director of Product.” [TechCrunchStatement

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Lawmaker creates stir after calling out Pa. Senate plans to meet on Jewish high holiday” by Christian Alexandersen: “If the Pennsylvania General Assembly wouldn’t meet on Christmas, then Sen. Daylin Leach wants to know why it would meet on an equally spiritual and important Jewish holiday. The Pennsylvania Senate recently added days to meet in September, including two days in the middle of one of the holiest holidays in the Jewish calendar — Rosh Hashanah.” [PennLive]

“New Rhode Island law protects right to hang religious artifacts in doorways: A new law passed by the General Assembly protects the right of tenants and condominium dwellers to hang religious artifacts in their doorways without interference from condo associations or landlords.” [Rilin]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Nearly Half a Century Later, a Jewish Kindergarten in Lodz” by Stav Ziv: “The new kindergarten opens at a time when Poland is experiencing a Jewish revival. Many Jews that remained in Poland hid their roots during the Communist era, but in recent years young people in the country have been discovering family history that has been concealed for decades and looking for ways to learn about Judaism and connect with other Jews in a now-democratic society.” [Newsweek]

“Is There a Future for the Jews of Italy?” by Ben Sales: “Community leaders here are surprisingly optimistic even as they contend with many of the same challenges facing small communities elsewhere: high intermarriage rates, young people moving abroad and shrinking numbers.” [Haaretz]

“In the Pinterest age, brides toss old ethnic wedding traditions in favor of something new” by Lavanya Ramanathan: “Golesorkhi has seen the new-tradition traditions, too: “The horah dance, which is usually Jewish, I have [non-Jewish] couples say, ‘We want to do that.’… For Indian, Vietnamese, Persian, Jewish, Greek and an increasing number of ethnically mixed couples, however, the era of the Pinterest wedding has raised a thorny problem: Sometimes, tradition clashes with all the inspiration. Or, more accurately, with the inspiration boards.” [WashPost]

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