SCENE LAST NIGHT: Vice President Joe Biden hosted Jewish leaders at the Naval Observatory for his annual Rosh Hashanah reception. Approximately one hundred guests, as well as senior Administration officials including Secretaries Kerry, Lew and Moniz, gathered inside the residence where they listened to Biden defend the Iran deal. According to a pool report, the Vice President said he respected people who vote against it as a matter of conscience, but “we are going to pass this. I know that disappoints some of you, but it’s a done deal.”
On Israel: “We are absolutely, unequivocally, completely omitted to the security of Israel.” He made mention of upcoming meetings with Israelis that he asked staff if had been announced yet. They seemed to tell him that the announcement hadn’t been made, but went on to refer to conversations he expected to have with Israeli intelligence and security about what they feel like they need.
On the Jewish community: “You’re the most incredible community I’ve ever dealt with … You’re the only outfit that looks out not only for every Jew in the nation and the world, but everyone else.” He choked up and paused for a moment as he started talking about Beau Biden’s death. “The degree of compassion and understanding that so many of you expressed…you guys get it. It’s sort of baked into your DNA. You understand. You understand.”
Biden introduced his in-laws—both the parents of his on Beau’s wife and the parents of his daughter Ashley’s husband (who are Jewish) as all his “mispacha.”… “Everybody always talks about this being a nice Catholic family—but I don’t think so,” he said.
SPOTTED: Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban — who came together with Rep. Ted Deutch, William Daroff, Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer, Jarrod Bernstein, Jerry Silverman, Alan Solow, Susie Stern, Sec. John Kerry, Jonathan Greenblatt, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, John Ruskay, Ken Bob, Howard Friedman, Bob Cohen, Ester Kurz, Michael & Susie Gelman, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, Rabbi Julie Schoenfeld, Amb. Norm Eisen, Ari Mittleman, Rob Eshman, Rep. Brad Sherman, Rabbi David Saperstein, Greg Rosenbaum, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Michael Adler (who, according to one source, was staying at Biden’s house), Reva Price, Matt Nosanchuk, Rep. Nita Lowy, Steve Rabinowitz, Lou Frillman, Matt Dorf, Sec. Moniz, Rep. Steve Israel, Francie Harris, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Sec. Jack Lew, Adam Szubin, Jason Isaacson, Rep. Eliot Engel, Debra Barton Grant, Stosh Cotler, Aaron Keyak, Rep. Sandy Levin, Rep. David Ciciliine, Rep. Lois Frankel, Steve Bittel, Laurie Moskowitz, Jane Harman, Barry Karas, and WH CoS Denis McDonough.
Moment: See Biden embracing Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer [Pic]
Dispatches: “Biden hints of Netanyahu meeting” by Edward-Isaac Dovere [Politico] • “On Iran deal, Biden tells Jews, ‘I promise you it will be enforced’” by Rob Eshman [JewishJournal]
On The Hill: “Republicans try to derail Iran nuclear deal in the House” by Deb Riechmann and Erica Werner: “Conservative House Republicans have embarked on an eleventh-hour political maneuver to derail the Iranian nuclear deal, saying they can’t vote on it until the president coughs up copies of side deals Tehran negotiated with atomic inspectors. Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois and other House Republicans are now claiming that the 60-day clock never started ticking because Obama never sent Congress the texts of two separate agreements the International Atomic Energy Agency negotiated with Tehran.”
“All the maneuvering by opponents of the deal apparently did so without an assist from the powerful pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, which had hundreds of its members arm-twisting lawmakers on Wednesday. An official with the group said its preference was for a straight vote on the disapproval resolution — something Senate Democrats are trying to block with a filibuster. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged his colleagues in the House to express their concerns about the side agreements by voting to disapprove of the deal.” [AP; DailyBeast]
“How the GOP ended up in disarray on Iran” by Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer: “After a day of disarray in which Speaker John Boehner was again forced into a corner, Republicans settled on a three-pronged strategy. One vote would rebuke Obama for not disclosing the totality of the agreement to Congress; a second would try to prevent him from lifting sanctions on Iran. Then, in a reversal, a third vote would be on a resolution of approval on the pact, designed to highlight majority opposition to the nuclear agreement. The problem with that element is that House Republicans will now be at odds with Senate Republicans, who plan to vote instead on a disapproval resolution.” [Politico]
Joe Lieberman Op: “No Filibustering the Vote on the Iran Deal” [WSJ]
Bernard Avishai: “Chuck Schumer’s Humiliation” [NewYorker]
Heard Yesterday: “Iran Deal Portrayed in Dueling Speeches by Clinton, Trump and Cruz” by Melinda Henneberger: “At the Brookings Institution in Washington on Wednesday, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton spoke slowly and oh so deliberately, to invited guests of the think tank, about the various merits and weaknesses of the Iran deal in the context of a broader strategy in the region… A couple of miles away, outside the Capitol, meanwhile, opponents of the deal waved American and Israeli flags and signs that said “Jewish lives matter” and “POTUS in bed with those who behead.” What Clinton sees as a hard-won accomplishment that will keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons, her Republican rivals call a capitulation guaranteed to get Americans and Israelis killed.” [Bloomberg] • Hillary’s speech[Politico; CNN; Brookings] • “In a break with Obama, Clinton lays out tougher worldview” [WashPost]
Rally RoundUp: “The Trump-Cruz-Palin-and-more rally on Capitol Hill on Wednesday looked more like an Obamacare or immigration rally than the usual crowd for a foreign policy issue.” by Rosie Gray [BuzzFeed] • “Trump Fans to Iran Deal Peaceniks: ‘Shut the F— Up!’” by Olivia Nuzzi [DailyBeast] • “At rally against Iran deal, Tea Party finds itself trumped by Trump” by Ben Jacobs [TheGuardian] • Cruz: “You Cannot Wash Your Hands of That Blood” [Video]
“Donald Trump’s Rise Sparks Widespread Angst Among Jewish Republicans” by Josh Nathan-Kazis: “The problem with Trump for these Republican Jewish activists isn’t necessarily Trump’s positions, to the extent that they exist, on top-line issues for Jewish voters. Republican Jewish elites see Trump as a hawkish supporter of Israel, like nearly all other members of the Republican primary field. Instead, Trump is seen as a threat to the vision of a bigger, more inclusive GOP, which many leading Republican Jews have advocated.” [Forward]
Spotted at Char Bar — D.C.’s kosher hub — last night: (at various tables) Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Cory Booker’s Rabbis — Rabbi Shmuley Boteach & Rabbi Shmully Hecht, and Noah Pollak.
Rabbis Rally: “200 Orthodox Rabbis Rally Against ‘Repugnant’ Iran Deal” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Blowing a shofar and reciting chapters from Psalms, some 200 Orthodox Jewish Rabbis gathered on Wednesday in Washington, DC, to rally Congress to vote against the Iran nuclear deal.” [JP; NJ; Photos]
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein: “We are here because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. 500 of them who came to the steps of the Capitol on October 6, 1943, two days before Yom Kippur eve to plead with President Roosevelt to save Jewish refugees from Hitler’s brutal forces. We are here because they were turned away, partly due to the statement of a prominent Jew who told the President that these people are not representative of the Jewish community… They were the leading Orthodox Rabbis of the 1943… We stand on their shoulders today. We are all here to raise our moral objection to the nuclear with Iran. We all pray that Congress will reject this deal.” [Video]
Inbox: NYTimes ad today from “Senior Jewish leaders on the Iran agreement” — including Charles Bronfman, Michael Adler, Stanley Gold. [Pic]
Peter Beinart: “The American Jewish Divide Is About Much More Than Iran” [Haaretz]
Politico 50 — transforming American politics: 2. Charlie Spies 5. Bernie Sanders 8. Mark Zuckerberg 12. The New Israel Lobby — Ron Dermer, Michael Oren 16. Sara Horowitz 19. Dianne Feinstein [Politico]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Court battle between billionaire Victoria’s Secret tycoon Les Wexner and auction house over £11 million vintage Ferrari could rack up £8 million in lawyers’ bills” [DailyMail; TheTimes] • “Why Sumner Redstone’s breakup is making his advisers so happy” [NYPost] • “Dan Gertler’s Mutanda’s Copper Output Unaffected by Glencore Decision on Congo” [Bloomberg] • “David Tepper: I have a bunch of problems with the stock market” [BusinessInsider] • “The Bloomberg Terminal, a Wall Street Fixture, Faces Upstarts” [DealBook] • “Real Estate heavyweights Steve Roth & Jared Kushner mull turning Fifth Ave. tower into mall” [NYPost] • “Charles S. Hallac, Co-President of BlackRock, Dies at 50” [NYTimes; BusinessInsider]
PROFILE: “Matt Jacobson, Facebook’s Gatekeeper for Hollywood” by Nick Bilton: “In 2005, Matt Jacobson was 44 and looking for a new job after leaving Quiksilver, the surf brand. A friend suggested that he meet with an unknown start-up based in Palo Alto, Calif… The young start-up couldn’t afford to pay Mr. Jacobson; instead, he could work for equity. Mr. Jacobson decided to take a chance. He shook hands with Mark Zuckerberg and became employee No. 8 at Facebook. Needless to say, the bet paid off.” [NYTimes]
STARTUP NATION: “Israeli Startup Windward Announces General Petraeus and Dan Senor Coming on Board as Investors: Windward, a maritime data and analytics company, is celebrating its five-year anniversary, a significant milestone as the company continues to unlock value across the maritime ecosystem. As part of the celebration, the company announced that Retired General David Petraeus and Dan Senor are joining the company as investors.” [PressRelease; Globes; Haaretz]
Campus Beat: “Back to School — With River of Cash To Fight BDS” by Nathan Guttman: “The Maccabees’ effect, several officials in other pro-Israel groups said, is stoking activity across the spectrum of Jewish campus organizations. “The fact that the Maccabees galvanized the right caused more galvanizing and coordination in the center and left,” one official said.” [Forward]
Breaking: “Richard Joel to Step Down From Yeshiva University at End of Term” [Forward]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “New York City Health Board Repeals Rule on Consent Forms for Circumcision Ritual” by Michael Grynbaum: “The New York City Board of Health voted on Wednesday to ease regulations on a controversial circumcision ritual practiced in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, fulfilling a priority of Mayor Bill de Blasio. The vote repealed a Bloomberg-era rule requiring parents to sign a consent form before the ritual.” [NYTimes; DailyNews]
TALK OF OUR NATION: “Jewish beekeepers sweeten New Year, teach wisdom of the hive” [RNS]
DESSERT: “Burning Man, Like Shabbat and Purim” by Lawrence Krule: “The parallels between Burning man and Purim do not end at just dressing up and drinking; there is also the theme of unconditional generosity. At Burning Man, food and drink is radically given with no expectation of reciprocity, as I experienced while standing parched in the dessert. This falls in line with the intent behind mishloach manot.” [TabletMag]
BIRTHDAYS: Henri Goettel… Gerald Fishman… Mary Eich… Jennifer Meyer…