Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Scenes From Obama & Bibi’s Marriage | Soros, Egerman consider funding BLM | Dmitry Rybolovlev LongRead | Google’s Jewish Food Trucks

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MUST READ: “Scenes From A Marriage: The Worst Relationship Between A U.S. President And An Israeli Prime Minister Ever–As Autopsied By The People Closest To Them” by Amir Tibon and Tal Shalev: “First encounters between American presidents and Israeli prime ministers are usually carefully choreographed, surprise-free events… The conversation started cordially, with both men complimenting each other on their political achievements. When they finally moved to substance, Obama said he wanted a complete settlement freeze, and he wanted it as soon as possible. Netanyahu was stunned—not just by the request, but also by the level of detail, with Obama talking about specific settlements and areas in the West Bank. “After the meeting, it took him some time to tell us that he was basically punched in the nose,” says a senior Netanyahu aide.”

“By late 2009, administration officials began questioning whether Netanyahu, or people near him, were working to tarnish Obama’s image in Israel. One official who participated in those discussions notes that even if Netanyahu didn’t initiate the negative coverage, he obviously found it helpful. A Likud minister says, “Most Israelis, even those who didn’t vote for Bibi, started thinking with time that he was actually standing up against an amateurish, or worse, a hostile president.”

“Rahm Emanuel’s formula for handling Bibi was very simple: apply a lot of pressure and leave no escape routes. Clinton, he explained, wasted months negotiating the smallest details with Bibi, and this White House didn’t have time for that. Soon enough, Emanuel was being lambasted in the Israeli press for his tough stance toward Israel. One story reported that Netanyahu had called Emanuel and political adviser David Axelrod “self-hating Jews.” These attacks “spooked Rahm pretty hard,” according to a senior White House official.”

“Obama’s victory on the Iran deal was a personal humiliation for Netanyahu. Not only did he appear weak by losing the battle, but he also lost his partnership with the American president—this time for good. When the two met at the White House earlier this week, both sides tried to pretend that things were copacetic. Netanyahu brought up the possibility of a two-state solution. Obama promised to boost security aid to Israel. But a U.S. official told us not to have any illusions: “The president and Bibi are never going to be friends. We’re never going to get over Iran.” [Highline.HuffPost]

Chemi Shalev: “Netanyahu’s Flip-flopping Ways Helped Ease the Pain of His U.S. Visit: But Reuven Rivlin’s upcoming D.C. tour could allow Obama to exact sweet revenge, best served cold anyway.” [Haaretz]

Malcolm Hoenlein on Nachum Segal this morning: “Netanyahu’s appearance at CAP was a very courageous thing. He handled it very well. I think it sends a positive message, and it shows he’s not afraid to address all audiences in the U.S. and it appeals to that very important constituency – the Democratic left – where support for Israel is much lower. In all accounts, that was a positive message.”

EIPAC? — “With U.S.-Israel ties aplenty, ELNET works to bolster Europe-Israel bonds” by Alina D. Sharon: “The European Leadership Network (ELNET)—a non-governmental, non-partisan organization founded by European, Israeli, and American leaders in 2007—works to improve strategic relations between Israel and European Union countries… ELNET creates for the first time in these countries a local power base of pro-Israel citizens who are capable and are well-equipped to communicate directly with elected officials, policy makers, and leaders of opinion.” [JNS]

TRANSITIONS: “Sweeping Generational Change Looms as Leaders of Jewish Groups Near Retirement” by Nathan Guttman: “The Anti-Defamation League saw its legendary leader, Abraham Foxman, step down after 28 years at the helm and replaced by 44-year-old outsider Jonathan Greenblatt. UJA-Federation of New York’s longtime CEO, John Ruskay, left last June. His successor, Eric Goldstein, came from the private sector.” [Forward]

HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND: Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham will address a Jewish audience at The Great Neck Synagogue on Long Island this Saturday. [JI]… Michael Oren speaks at Ramaz School Saturday night on “The status of U.S. and Israel relations, looking back and ahead”[FB]… On Sunday, Israeli espionage expert Michael Bar-Zohar is joined by Ethan Bronner for a riveting look inside the most daring and white-knuckle missions of the Israeli Special Forces, as told in his new book, No Mission Is Impossible. [92Y]

DONOR WATCH: “Big Obama Donors Stay on Sidelines in 2016 Race” by Daniel Nasaw:“Almost four-fifths of the people who gave the 2012 maximum $5,000 to the president’s re-election committee hadn’t donated to a presidential candidate by Oct. 1, a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal campaign finance records found.” [WSJ]

“Major donors consider funding Black Lives Matter” by Ken Vogel and Sarah Wheaton: “The meetings are taking place at the annual winter gathering of the Democracy Alliance major liberal donor club, which runs from Tuesday evening through Saturday morning and is expected to draw Democratic financial heavyweights, including Tom Steyer and Paul Egerman.” [Politico]

TOP TALKER: “JFNA distances itself from Dem who questioned motives of GOP Evangelicals: The Jewish Federations of North America distanced itself from a representative of the Democratic Party who said at its annual General Assembly that some Evangelical Christian Republicans support Israel to hasten the End of Days… Rosenbaum was speaking Tuesday at a debate with Matt Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, moderated by Jewish Insider.”

Rosenbaum later sent Jewish Insider a clarification… “To be clear, my remarks were meant to refer specifically to those Evangelical Christians who agree with former Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s offensive statements surrounding Israel and the ‘biblical prophecy,’ specifically her call to convert as many Jews as possible in the context of ‘seeing the fulfillment of scripture right in front of our eyes, even while we’re on the ground’,” he said, “not the many Christians, both Republicans and Democrats, who disagree with her.” [JTAJIObserver]

“When Trump Fought The Racists” by Jeffrey Lord: “The story, linked by a group calling itself Zionists for Trump, was published in the Wall Street Journal — in 1997. It revolves around Trump’s purchase and operation of the famous Mar-a-Largo estate.” [TheSpectator]

**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: “7 employees of Jewish family company among dead in Ohio plane crash” [JTA] • “Goldman Sachs Names 425 New Managing Directors” [NYTBI] • “Checking In on Roosevelt Island’s Cornell Tech Campus” [Curbed• “In Israel Too, the Death of Brands as We Know Them” [Haaretz] • “Media veteran Jack Kliger hooks up with Jewish web project” [NYPost]

LongRead: “The Oligarch and the Dentist’s Wife” by Vicky Ward: “What do you do when one of the richest and most powerful men in the world says you stole $100 million from him? And what do you do when you suspect your confidante has been ripping you off for a decade? The man at the center of the biggest scandal in the art world breaks down his silence and his accused defrauder responds”

“Dmitry Rybolovlev seldom gives interviews. The 49-year-old Russian is notoriously private, and also notoriously security-conscious, perhaps because back in the 1990s, while building up Uralkali, one of the world’s largest fertilizer companies, he survived a year in a Russian prison and several murder attempts. To be greeted by a Russian-speaking security team at La Belle Epoque, Rybolovlev’s Monaco residence (reportedly the most expensive apartment in the world, worth $323 million), is not a surprise, then. The three-story penthouse also happens to be the scene of Monaco’s most infamous murder, that of Lebanese-Brazilian banker Edmond Safra…” in Town&Country Magazine’s December/January Issue [Preview]

David Sable Op: “Do You Struggle With Work-Life Balance? I Do Every Day” [LinkedIn]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “For Jewish High School Students, an Early Lesson in Mortality” by Samuel G. Freedman: “Few subjects run more powerfully counter to an American teenager’s innate sense of immortality than a confrontation with the reality of life’s end. The 10-hour, eight-session course, titled “The Final Journey: How Judaism Dignifies the Final Passage,” aims for sensitivity even as it provokes a certain degree of shock. Besides going to the funeral home, where they received detailed explanations of washing and dressing a corpse, the students have classroom lessons on topics including the history of the Jewish burial societies known as chevra kadisha, the Talmudic foundations of end-of-life practices, and issues involving autopsy and organ donation.” [NYTimes]

DESSERT: “This group wants Jewish millennials to connect over food and wine” by Ari Bendersky: “New York-based OneTable launched in Chicago over the summer, aiming to bring Jews in their 20s and 30s together on Friday nights for dinner to celebrate Shabbat, which marks the end of the Jewish week and starts a day of rest. While the nonprofit is geared toward Jews, it welcomes anyone who wants to participate in this new spin on the end-of-the-week social gathering. The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and the Paul E. Singer Foundation support OneTable in New York. An anonymous funder helped the nonprofit expand to Chicago this year.” [Crains]

“Two Jewish food trucks roll onto the scene — but they’re for Google only” by Andy Altman-Ohr: “Here’s yet another reason why you wish you worked for Google: A new food truck operation at the company’s Mountain View headquarters includes not one but two Jewish-centric eateries on wheels. New York Delhi and Old World Delicatessen are part of a fleet of 14 food trucks serving the Googleplex daily. The food is free, just as it is at the other 20-plus cafés at Google.” [JWeekly]

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: “During the past month, I have had the privilege of doing two wine tastings for a wonderful group of Napa Valley wine makers who are planning a trip to Israel. In preparation for their trip, I shipped them 24 distinct wines from across every Israeli varietal and region. One of the best received so far, and one that is a personal favorite, is from Gvaot winery. This winery is nestled in the Shomron mountains not far from the town of Shiloh.  While the winery is compact, and somewhat sparse, is it surrounded by such beauty and history that it is well worth visiting.”

“Masada,” which is Gvaot’s high-end wine, is predominantly composed of Cabernet with some Merlot and Petit Verdot. The wine is very complex. It opens with significant tannins – which always makes my mouth pucker, however, by the time it gets to my mid mouth it starts to soften and blend with the huge fruit. The finish is long and full. The wine sits in French oak for approximately 21 months and has very strong chocolate and coffee overtones. I would let this wine breathe for at least an hour. This wine will last for many years.”

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Nochi Dankner turns 61… Harold Waldenberg… Kevin Pailet… Ari Morgenstern… Hillel Fuld… Ed Asner turns 86… Stephen Wolff… Lawrence Lotman… Josh Shein… Rabbi Meyer May… M.D. Ullman… Ed Asner…

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