Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Full Recap of the RJC Forum | How Zuckerberg’s Altruism Helps Himself | Mayor Jeff Zucker? | New DC Kosher spot | Daniel Mael engaged

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HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND: “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will address the 2015 Saban Forum, a U.S.-Israeli dialogue in its twelfth year. Entitled “Israel and the United States: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” the Saban Forum will feature Israeli delegates from across the political spectrum including Naftali Bennett, Isaac Herzog, Avigdor Lieberman, Zehava Gal-On, and Tzipi Livni.” Other notable guests include Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Chief of Staff of the IDF Gabi Ashkenazi, U.S. Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Frank Lowenstein, and former U.S. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley.

On Sunday, the National Chanukah Menorah will be illuminated and seen around the world during a special ceremony on The Ellipse at 4PM to mark the first night of Chanukah. This year, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is expected to attend.

RJC ROUNDUP: Thirteen Republican presidential candidates addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2016 Candidates Forum at the Reagan Building in D.C. It was unique day that saw the national media focused on our beat. Suffice to say, it made quite a lot of noise. Below is a guide to the candidates’ speeches, some highlights and the reaction to them.

DONALD TRUMP — Trump was introduced by RJC Board Member Abbie Friedman who referred to the 2106 frontrunner as a “mensch with chutzpah” and “mishpucha” thanks to his daughter Ivanka Trump. Trump began his remarks, “You just like me because my daughter happens to be Jewish, right?… The only bad news is I can’t get her on Saturday, I call and call and can’t speak to her on Saturdays anymore but that’s ok.”… “I’ve been a tremendous fan and a tremendous contributor to Hatzalah. $100,000 for emergency response, they do a fantastic job.”

“I’m a negotiator like you folks, we’re negotiators. Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? This room negotiates a lot. This room perhaps more than any room I’ve ever spoken to.”… “You are not going to support me even though you know I am the best thing that could happen for Israel. I know why you are not going to support me. You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your own politicians.”

RJC’s Matt Brooks asked Trump — “Can I at least pin you down on Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel? Is that a position you support?” Trump: “You know what I want to do? I want to wait until I meet with Bibi.” [CSPAN]

Ari Fleischer: “He knows who’s on the board of the RJC, and the board of the RJC is indeed a lot of business leaders who do a lot of negotiations. He saw a lot of people from New York in that front row and he knew several of them… But what I objected to was his statement about, I know why you’re not supporting me — it’s because I won’t take your money. And it wasn’t the money — it was the implication that you are here because you need to buy and influence a politician, as opposed to you are here because of the ideology that you believe in and the love for Israel in your heart.” [WashExaminer]

Former ADL National Director Abe Foxman emailed us: “Somebody should give Donald Trump a copy of my book ‘Jews & Money: The Story Of A Stereotype.’ For someone who claims to be so smart, he should know better than to reinforce and legitimize this history old anti-Semitic canard.”

Gary Bauer told JI: “I was surprised how well he was doing during his remarks. But to blow the question on Jerusalem was, literally, breathtaking. If you can’t, at this point and the history we see around us, have the wisdom and the common sense to simply say ‘I’m not going to expose my entire strategy, but, yes! Jerusalem – it has been the capital, it will be the capital and nothing will change,’ raises serious questions among pro-Israel voters.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center: “His unique and sometimes outrageous shorthand style with a group of Jewish political activists– Linking their potential political support to money…outrageous. Dodging on the largely symbolic political support for United Jerusalem = Disappointing.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League’s CEO: “We do not believe that it was Donald Trump’s intention to evoke anti-Semitic stereotypes. He has made similar comments about spending his own money on the campaign, and not asking for money from donors, to many other groups. Here, context is everything. Trump’s presentation was completely supportive of Israel and the Jewish community, even if one might disagree with him on some of the other issues he raised. In this case he is speaking to a group of Jewish Republicans, a significant portion of whom are business people. We do not believe he intended his comments regarding negotiations and money to relate specifically to their Jewishness.”

NJDC’s Greg Rosenbaum: “Donald Trump has been remarkably offensive throughout his candidacy, but to make these sorts of remarks before a Jewish audience is a new level of outrageousness. While Trump continues to find ways to be more absurd, we are mostly surprised by the deafening silence from the Republican Party’s top leaders and, most notably, the Republican Jewish Coalition itself.”

How It Played: “Donald Trump Kept Repeating Jewish Stereotypes In Speech To Jewish Republicans” [BuzzFeed• “Trump Draws Boos, Laughs at Republican Jewish Coalition Event” [NationalJournal] • “Donald Trump struggles with Israel question at Republican Jewish summit” [WashPost] • “Donald Trump Gets Cold Reception at Jewish Republican Event” [Time] • “Donald Trump Stumbles in Pitch to Republican Jews With Stereotype-Filled Spiel” [Forward] • “One yuuuuuge mistake: Donald Trump just delivered an anti-Semitic speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition” [Salon• “Trump To Jewish Republicans: ‘I’m A Negotiator Like You Folks'” [NPR]

JEB BUSH — “What we need to do is create the conditions where there’s a willingness to talk. The Palestinian Authority is not a legitimate regime. They can’t speak for the Palestinian people. There has to be a completely different environment for serious negotiations to take place… We must not pressure Israel on settlements until Palestinians recognize Israel’s existence as a Jewish State and it borders… The person I rely on most when it comes to U.S.-Israeli policy is my brother. I got a damn good brother.”

Matt Brooks asked Jeb: “Would you reinstate your brother’s Bush letter to Sharon?” Jeb: “Absolutely.”

Jeb made several “Day one” pledges: Move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, ensure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge is maintained under a new MOU, and work with his newly appointed Attorney General to stop the BDS movement in the United States. [CSPAN]

Sam Fox told us: “I think Jeb is very, very thoughtful; he thinks things out. He’s very bright. I know for a fact that he’s looked at about every opportunity to improve our country, and he has a plan to do so. He was high energy today. But he does that a lot. The so-called debates have not done well for him. His makeup is that he’s a nice person. He doesn’t get into arguments and say bad things about other people… Out of all the candidates running, Jeb is the only one that would make an outstanding president.”

Ronnie Krongold told us: “Jeb is not a reality show. He has character and won’t do anything and everything just to get attention. I think the polls are not reflecting the intelligence of his campaign because he isn’t giving the snap answers. He’s giving measured answers. And there’s a bottom line: He’s ready to be president of the United States. As the campaign goes on, and some of those people are found out for what they are, he’s going to become stronger and stronger. He just needs to hang in there… Changes he may make in his campaign staff are changes that will help him get his message out better. Jeb will do well in New Hampshire.”

How It Played: “Jeb Carries W’s Umbrella To Fire Up Jewish Backers” [JewishInsider] • “Jeb Bush on friendly turf at the Republican Jewish Coalition” [WashPost] • “Jeb Bush embraces brother, and Republican Jewish Coalition (still) embraces him” [MiamiHerald] • “Jeb Bush says he would ‘whup’ Hillary Clinton” [Politico]

MARCO RUBIO — “Discriminatory laws that apply only to Jews are now being written into European law for the first time in more than half a century. I believe we need a president who is not afraid to call this out for what it is: anti-Semitism. I will be that president… As president, I will call on university presidents, administrators, religious leaders, and professors to speak out with clarity and force on this issue – the same way they speak out against racism and other forms of bigotry. I will make clear that calling for the destruction of Israel is the same as calling for the death of Jews.”

“I will immediately shred this president’s disastrous deal with Iran. And those who are now rushing to do business with Iran need to know that upon taking office, I will re-impose the sanctions that President Obama plans to waive over congressional objection. I will finally move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I will help ensure that Jerusalem remains the Jewish state’s undivided and eternal capital. I will revive the common-sense understandings reached in the 2004 Bush-Sharon letter and build on them to help ensure Israel has defensible borders, including through its continued control of the Golan Heights.” [CSPAN]

Ari Fleischer: “Rubio’s remarks struck more chords with this group than Ted’s remarks. Ted is walking the line between isolationism and intervention. Rubio is much more a classic peace-through-strength, U.S.-must-lead candidate.” [Bloomberg

Marc Goldman: “Rubio was ok. As you know, I’m supporting him. You can’t pick any one time or any one day and have that be the barometer… Not only does he get it but I particularly like that Marco is the embodiment of the American dream and he’s also close enough to it so the likelihood of him forgetting, or taking it for granted is far less… It wasn’t his greatest speech today. He was reading more than talking. When he answered questions he became totally alive but when he was reading it was less dynamic than he usually is.”

How It Played: “Rubio Pledges to Reinstate Bush Letter to Sharon” [JewishInsider• “Marco Rubio hits it out of the park at RJC forum” [WashPost] • “Rubio: Obama ’emboldened those who seek Israel’s destruction'” [WashExaminer] • “Rubio takes on Trump in address to Republican Jews” [ToI] • “Rubio Plays to Republican Jewish Audience and Sets Sights on Cruz” [NationalReview]

TED CRUZ — “If I am elected president, I have pledged on the very first day in office to rip to shred this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal… You know, at some of these Republican debates, there have been other Republican candidates who’ve said, “Gosh, that’s not a very sophisticated approach. You don’t understand, we need to wait to see if we can trust the Iranians. Well let me tell you what, I do trust the Iranians. When the Ayatollah Khamenei burns American and Israel flags and says “death to America,” I trust him that he means it.”

“Coming on the wake of the terror attack in Paris, this horrific murder underscores that we are at a time of war. Whether or not the current administration realizes it or is willing to acknowledge it, our enemies are at war with us, and I believe this nation needs a wartime president to defend it.” [CSPAN]

How It Played: “Ted Cruz plays up electability to Republican Jewish Coalition” [DallasMorningNews] • “Cruz, Rubio make play for Jewish Republicans” [Politico] • “Ted Cruz says he fears California shooting may be Islamic terrorism” [ToI]

BEN CARSON — “I dare say there are more women fighter pilots in Israel than there are women with driver’s licenses in Saudi Arabia”… “But beyond a territorial challenge, a much bigger challenge exists. The challenge is the split between Fatah and Hamas (pronounces it: “hummus”). Fatah and Hamas operate in a constant state of conflict… I’m not here today to debate a one-state or two-state solution.” [CSPAN]

How It Played: “Ben Carson, Mispronouncing ‘Hamas,’ Fails to Impress Republican Jewish Group” [NYTimes] • “Ben Carson Reads History of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to Jewish GOP Group” [WSJ] • “Trump, Carson struggle before Jewish group” [BostonGlobe] • “Ben Carson Thinks There’s a Star of David on the Dollar Bill. There’s Not” [Yahoo]

CHRIS CHRISTIE — “When I went to Israel in April of 2012, it was very soon after the death of Mrs. Netanyahu’s father, and we turned out to be the first people that they received at their home for dinner, after they had gone through their period of mourning… When we were leaving after a three-hour dinner that night, talking about not only the world, but about our children and their future, he thanked me for coming, and was leaving to go back to work. As I walked out, I looked at him and said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’ll tell you one thing, if I ever do get the chance to become president of the United States, Israel will never have a better friend than me, because I understand that America has no better friend in the Middle East or anywhere around the world than Israel.” [CSPAN]

How It Played: “At presidential forum, Christie says nation is ‘in the midst of the next world war'” [NorthJersey] • “Emboldened Christie goes on the attack” [TheHill] • “The Dream of the George W. Bush Presidency Is Alive in Chris Christie” [Slate]

–Read Jeffrey Goldberg’s interview with Chris Christie: “The New Jersey governor on foreign policy, Marco Rubio, and the fine art of ball breaking.” [TheAtlantic]

LINDSEY GRAHAM — “You think I even need to talk to you about my support for Israel? You know where I’m at… If Cruz is the nominee, the election will be about rape and if you don’t think that then you just don’t understand what [the Democrats] will do. It will be about the nominee of the Republican Party telling a woman who has been raped; you have to carry the child of the rapist. Good luck with that… I believe Donald Trump is destroying Republicans’ chance to win an election that we can’t afford to lose.” [CSPAN]

How It Played: “At Jewish GOP Group, Lindsey Graham Harangues White House Rivals” [WSJ] • “Republican Shreds Cruz at GOP Jewish Event” [TexasTribune] • “A GOP Presidential Candidate Just Told A Room Full Of Donors To Get Real About Rape and Abortion” [HuffPost]

JOHN KASICH — “My mother told me one time, she said, ‘Johnny … if you want to look for a really good friend, get somebody who’s Jewish. And you know why she said that? She said, ‘no matter what happens to you, your friend, your Jewish friend will stick by your side and fight right with you and stand by you.’… As a Jew, you’re supposed to live a life greater than yourself.” [CSPAN] • “Low-key John Kasich seeks support from Jewish Republican group” [Cleveland]

JIM GILMORE — “In preparation for this very significant meeting today, I did a little looking at the Internet, and it turns out there’s a fellow named Ron Kampeas, who wrote a little article in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and he said we had to come here today to pass the Kiskus test… Kiska? (Audience: “Kishka!”) Kishka test! Kishka. Well I didn’t know what that was, so I looked it up. The definition is: ‘a beef or fowl intestine stuffed into a mixture as of flour, fat, onions and seasonings and roasted…’ and I thought that’s the Republican campaign for the nomination! That’s right, that’s what it is.” [CSPAN]

GEORGE PATAKI — “Chazak, Chazak, V’Nitchazek… Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel… No more wasting time… No more negotiations until the PLO starts “recognizing Israel’s existence.”[CSPAN]

CARLY FIORINA — “I’m angry. Maybe you’re angry as well. I am angry because this president and the soon-to-be Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton do not understand this threat and refuse to call it by its name: radical Islamic terrorism.” [CSPAN]

MIKE HUCKABEE — “No President of the United States should pressure Israel to give up land God gave them the original deed to. I want to remind you that Israel has consistently and repeatedly given up, given up, given up, and given up and gotten nothing in return.” [CSPAN]

RICK SANTORUM — “The events in Paris happened because they were able to learn from Snowden how to not be detected and communicated. I don’t know what the definition of a traitor is if Edward Snowden is not a traitor. Yet we have Republican candidates who won’t, because of civil liberties.” [CSPAN]

Senate votes caused Rand Paul to miss what would have been his first public RJC appearance. The votes also prevented Cruz and Rubio from attending their tri-state fundraisers last night.

**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**

SPOTLIGHT: “How Mark Zuckerberg’s Altruism Helps Himself” by Jesse Eisinger: “Mark Zuckerberg did not donate $45 billion to charity. You may have heard that, but that was wrong. Here’s what happened instead: Mr. Zuckerberg created an investment vehicle. His P.R. return-on-investment dwarfs that of his Facebook stock. Mr. Zuckerberg was depicted in breathless, glowing terms for having, in essence, moved money from one pocket to the other.” [DealBook]

Fred Graver tweets: “I am so impressed by Zuckerberg’s pledge. When my son was born, turns out I unwittingly pledged 99% of my income to raising him.” [Twitter]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Will CNN’s Jeff Zucker run for New York mayor?” by Rebecca Shabad: CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker on Thursday is not ruling out running for mayor of New York. In an interview with Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith at The Paley Center for Media, Smith asked Zucker whether it might still be true that he would consider running for elected office. Zucker nodded and said, “I would still think about that, yeah.” [AP]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: “Jewish community leaders from across the New York metropolitan region received a preview of Museum of the Bible on Thursday evening during a dinner at Spring Studios in Tribeca. Museum of the Bible, which is set to open in 2017 just off the National Mall in Washington, D.C., will encourage visitors of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the Bible through a collection of over 40,000 texts and artifacts.”

Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers: “Washington may have problems, but there’s one problem that nobody has ever had: too many Kosher dining options when visiting our Nation’s capital. Because we want to welcome everyone to our Museum, we’re going to have glatt Kosher dining options in our restaurant and cafe from day one.”

Spotted: JFNA’s Jerry Silverman, JFN’s Andrés Spokoiny, Avi Chai’s Yossi Prager, Rabbi Benny Lau, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg and Blu Greenberg, MK Elazar Stern, Jason Curry and Joel Beritz of the Gruss Foundation, WJC’s Aliyana Traison, Stu Loeser, Tamar Remz of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Jacob Fisch of Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority, ADL’s David Warren, Lauren Merkin, George Blumenthal, AFL’s Gerry Platt, and Eli Hertz.

MAZEL TOV to Daniel Mael, the pride of Newton, MA, and Isabel Tsesarsky, of the UWS, upon their engagement last night. According to Daniel, the two were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: “One might think that sitting with two world renowned Professors of Oenology for several hours might be a difficult task. Please let me dispel such thoughts. I enjoyed sitting with Professor Oded Shoseyov and Professor Ben Ami Bravdo, both at Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture. They are the founders of the Bravdo winery. We met at their magnificent winery in Karmei Yosef in the Judean Hills. Their passion for wine making and the science behind it comes through in the great wines they produce.”

“Bravdo’s Landmark 2B 2012 is a blend of Cabernet and Merlot with Cabernet Franc added to the Must. It is aged in new French oak and new American oak and this unique blending of oak creates a crisp and fresh nose and a touch of sweetness on the mid palate. The wine is very approachable and medium bodied although light on the tannins. I would drink this wine now and in the coming years and drink it with fruits or fish as well as grilled vegetables.” [Bravdo]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav turns 70… Arnon Milchan… Judd Apatow turns 48… Adventure Rabbi Jamie Korngold… GOP fundraising powerhouse Lisa Spies… Betti Greenstein… Judd Boczko… Jonathan Shabshaikhes… Joe Blumenthal… MOshe Hochenberg… Judy Clark…

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