Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Dems debate Kissinger; Bernie won’t mention ‘Jewish’ or ‘Israel’ | David Brooks at BBYO | Grayson’s Double Life | Zak the Baker deli

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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Obama, Netanyahu may agree on defense deal in Washington next month, envoy says” by Dan Williams: “We are now trying to consolidate a deal on the coming 10 years – what military aid we will give – a very complicated effort, which takes into account both Israel’s security needs and the budgetary limitations of the United States,” U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro told Israel’s Channel 2 television. “But I am optimistic that we will consolidate this agreement,” he said, adding that he saw “a chance” of it being clinched in an Obama-Netanyahu meeting in Washington next month, though he noted the schedules of the leaders have yet to be set. Netanyahu is widely expected to attend the March 20-22 policy conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in Washington.”

Numbers Gap: “One Israeli official said Netanyahu hopes for a new MOU worth $4 billion annually, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in additional congressional funding for specific defense projects. A U.S. congressional source said the MOU discussions had focused on a U.S. offer of about $3.7 billion annually.” [Reuters]

“Scanning Borders, Israel Surveys New Reality of Tunnels and Terror” by Isabel Kershner: “Israel’s military commanders are rethinking their concept of border security as they watch the reality of what is happening on the other side changing in front of their eyes. Given its lack of strategic depth, the Israeli military is investing in fences, surveillance and reconnaissance devices.” [NYTimes]

IRAN DEAL: “Official unsure of where Iran’s enriched uranium is stored” by Richard Lardner: “A State Department official told lawmakers Thursday he was unsure of the precise location of tons of low-enriched uranium shipped out of Iran on a Russian vessel as part of the landmark nuclear agreement.” [AP]

Eli Lake: “U.S. Sends Europe a Mixed Message on Iran Sanctions” [BloombergView]

DEM DEBATE RECAP by Jacob Kornbluh — Sanders sorta references Jewish background: “Well, you know, I think, from a historical point of view, somebody with my background, somebody with my views, somebody who has spent his entire life taking on the big money interests, I think a Sanders victory would be of some historical accomplishment, as well,” he said.

Pundits ask: Why didn’t Bernie say the word ‘Jewish’? Jeffrey Goldberg: “Answer to various e-mails I’ve gotten: I don’t know why Sanders never mentions the fact that he would be the first Jewish president.” [Twitter] • Alex Burns: “Wonder why Sanders wouldn’t more explicitly play the first Jewish president card.” [Twitter] • Josh Rolnick: “Why didn’t Bernie mention he’s Jewish when discussing historic nature of his campaign? That’s part of it, too.” [Twitter]

–Hillary mentions Israel twice while discussing foreign policy; Bernie not once: “This is one of the areas I’ve disagreed with Senator Sanders on, who has called for Iranian troops trying to end civil war in Syria, which I think would be a grave mistake. Putting Iranian troops right on the border of the Golan right next to Israel would be a nonstarter for me. Trying to get Iran and Saudi Arabia to work together, as he has suggested in the past, is equally a nonstarter.”

In opposing Sanders’ proposal to eventually normalize relations with Iran, Hillary stated, “I do not think we should promise or even look toward normalizing relations because we have a lot of other business to get done with Iran. Yes, they have to stop being the main state sponsor of terrorism. Yes, they have to stop trying to destabilize the Middle East, causing even more chaos. Yes, they’ve got to get out of Syria. They’ve got to quit sponsoring Hezbollah and Hamas. They have got to quit trying to ship rockets into Gaza that can be used against Israel. We have a lot of work to do with Iran before we ever say that they could move toward normalized relations with us.”

Sanders’ response: “I have no illusion. Of course you are right. Iran is sponsoring terrorism in many parts of the world, destabilizing areas. Everybody knows that. But our goal is, in fact, to try over a period of time to, in fact, deal with our enemies, not just ignore that reality.”

Nathan Guttman: “Clinton mentions Israel twice in her answer on Middle East. Bernie, in his responses, avoids talking about Israel. Clear pattern” [Twitter]

Bernie targets Hillary for taking advice from Henry Kissinger: “In her book and in this last debate, [Clinton] talked about getting the approval or the support or the mentoring of Henry Kissinger. I find it rather amazing, because I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country. I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger… Count me in as somebody who will not be listening to Henry Kissinger.”

Hillary’s response: “Well, I know journalists have asked who you do listen to on foreign policy, and we have yet to know who that is.” Sanders: “Well, it ain’t Henry Kissinger. That’s for sure.” Hillary: “That’s fine. That’s fine.”

Sanders campaign emailed reporters — “Why Hillary’s Support for Kissinger is Dangerous” — “Kissinger is known for direct involvement in secret coups against democratically elected presidents, support of notorious dictators, the expansion of the national security state, and various human rights violations. Following is a sample of his most egregious acts while in office.”

“1. In White house tapes released in 2010, Kissinger is heard telling Nixon in 1973 that helping Soviet Jews emigrate, and escape oppression, was “not an objective of American foreign policy.” He also said “And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.” Jewish leaders and organizations expressed outrage over this. [NYT]

“10. The Shah of Iran was installed into power as a result of a joint British-U.S. coup. Kissinger engaged a policy of unconditional support for the Shah. He overrode State Department and Pentagon objections to allow Iran broad access to military equipment, and authorized the CIA training of the Shah’s torturous secret police. He exacerbated tensions with Tehran after the Revolution (resulting in the hostage crisis) by urging Carter to grant the Shah asylum in the United States. [Salon]

Yair Rosenberg: “This extended tangent on the merits of Henry Kissinger is what happens when no one on your debate stage is younger than 68.” [Twitter]

“In South Carolina, Rubio Hits Hillary on Israel Record” by Jacob Kornbluh: “You get Hillary Clinton staffers sending her an email – which I can’t believe why it hasn’t gotten more coverage… one of her staffers said, ‘You know what we need to do? We need to create a covert program to get the Palestinian people to protest so we can put pressure on Israel to negotiate a [peace] deal with the Palestinian Authority.’” Rubio also warned voters, during his opening remarks, that if any of the Democratic presidential hopefuls wins the White House, “They will keep betraying Israel and cut deals with Israel’s enemies.” [JewishInsider] • “Marco Rubio Talks Up Foreign Policy Expertise” [WSJ]

Jennifer Rubin: “Bush interview: Jeb knocks rivals’ ‘video game’ approach to foreign policy” [WashPost]

Peter Beinart: “Sanders, Trump, and the War Over American Exceptionalism” [TheAtlantic]

Chemi Shalev: “In a Sanders-Trump Presidential Race, Many Jews Will Yearn for Bloomberg” [Haaretz]

“The Pentagon’s vile ‘divided loyalty’ rules for Jews” by Avi Schick: “Congress is rarely called upon to dispel conspiracy theories. But it needs to teach the Pentagon to separate fact from fiction, because American Jews are routinely denied security clearances based on nothing more than a fear that they are Israeli spies.” [NYPost]

“A Soviet Dissident Anniversary We Should All Celebrate” by Elliott Abrams: “February 11 is a date worth celebrating not just for Sharansky and his family–his wife, his children and his grandchildren–and not just for Jews and Israelis but for everyone struggling for democracy worldwide and all those supporting them. Sharansky’s irrepressible spirit is a reminder that freedom itself is irrepressible, and can arise again even after long decades of dictatorship.” [Newsweek]

SCENE YESTERDAY: BBYO kicked off their annual International Convention at the Baltimore Hilton with over 2,400 teenagers from 700 communities worldwide in attendance (we’re told a 182% increase from 2012) as well as 2,000 adults, including philanthropists, alumni, thought leaders and educators, providing plenty of supervision and guidance.

In conjunction with the BBYO Conference, supporters and friends of the Jewish community also attended the Summit on Jewish Teens at the Hilton. Hosted by The Jim Joseph Foundation, The Marcus Foundation, the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds and The Schusterman Family Foundation, it has become the premier opportunity for the Jewish community’s most influential leaders to converse with each other and teens themselves about engaging the teen audience in Jewish life. This year’s featured speaker was New York Times Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks.

David Brooks: “Sometime your identity is formed under challenging circumstances. I went to a christian school, Grace Church Episcopal School in Lower Manhattan. I was part of the all Jewish boys davening choir at Grace (laughter). We were about 40% Jewish in the choir and, to square with our religion, we wouldn’t sing the word ‘Jesus’ and so the volume would drop down dramatically (laughter). And so we’re in complex circumstances and our identity is formed. What you see here is like a Woodstock of Jewish identity. You see all these people coming together and their identity as Jews is inflamed by the presence of each other.”

“A lot of us are actually related by blood. We’re also related by heritage, the Passover Seder, by Moses, by Maimonides, by Adam Sandler (laughter). We’re related by rituals, the Shabbat meals, the global Shabbat. These are the things we’ve inherited. The challenge for us going forward is to take what we’ve inherited and to build something out of it. What do we do with this legacy we’ve been handed? How do we advance righteousness? Let’s face it these kids, 2,400 of them, will grow up in an atmosphere of a darkening world. Authoritarians rising around the world, the Middle East as divided by Sunni and Shia, and these are only some of the threats around the world… but there’s also Ted Cruz (laughter).”

“Judaism is a people, we have these common roots, we have these common genes but we also have our faith. We’re a religion. We’re Abraham ready to sacrifice Isaac, we’re Moses arguing with God, we’re Sarah being blessed with a child, we’re David seeking forgiveness, we’re the joy Rabbis feel when they study Torah. We would not survive as a people if we were not a faith. And so while we celebrate our community, while we celebrate our rituals, we will not survive — especially in a darkening world — unless we take Torah study seriously, unless we take prayer seriously, theology seriously, study seriously. That’s the substance behind what we do and why we survive. Getting together is just the start. Education and content and study and faith is the advancement.” [YouTube]

Fun Fact: David Brooks and Alan Dershowitz are third cousins.

SPOTTED: Lynn Schusterman, Lisa Eisen, BBYO Executive Director Matt Grossman, Tina & Steven Price, Jay & Shira Ruderman, Dorothy Tananbaum, Eric Fingerhut, Tamar Remz, Andrés Spokoiny, David Rittberg, Amy Holtz, Jerry Silverman, Sandy Cardin, Seth Cohen, Kate Belza, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Rabbi Steven Wernick, Marc Terrill, Linda Hurwitz, Mark Neumann, Bruce Sholk, Howard Friedman, Scott Shay, Rafi Rone, David Cygielman, Ami Eden, Deborah Kolben, Hadara Ishak, Ethan Feuer, Rachel Hazan, Max Heller, Elyse Goldberg, Dan Brown, Jeremy Fingerman.

Happening this weekend at BBYO: Among the many panels and sessions, there are at least two with a strong (bipartisan) political focus. Ami Eden will interview Noam Neusner and Matt Nosanchukabout how they got their start in politics and what they learned from their experiences at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Later, the RJC’s Matt Brooks and the NJDC’s Greg Rosenbaum will explain “How to Be a Political Jewish Operative — teaching what you will need to enter the political world as a young, smart Jewish dynamo while also discussing the strategy, issues and personalities involved in the 2016 elections.”

BOOK RELEASE — An ‘American’ MK by Dov Lipman: “In this book, former Knesset member Rabbi Dov Lipman tells the story of his experiences as a member of the nineteenth Knesset including a behind-the-scenes look at how the Knesset works, from his perspective as the first American born MK in thirty years.” [AmericanMK]

**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: “Israel Stocks Drop to Lowest Since 2014 as Bear Market Nears” [Bloomberg] • “Blackstone’s Jon Gray bullish on Miami” [RealDeal] • “Tribeca Equinox says eviction attempt by Sapir Organization is an ‘overreaction’” [NYPost• “David L. Cohen: The cruel irony of the ‘digital divide’ and how it’s hurting Philadelphia” [BizJournals]

SPOTLIGHT: “Alan Grayson’s Double Life: Congressman and Hedge Fund Manager” by Eric Lipton: “The hedge fund manager boasted that he had traveled to “every country” in the world, studying overseas stock markets as he fine-tuned an investment strategy to capitalize on global companies’ suffering because of economic or political turmoil. But the fund manager had an even more distinctive credential to showcase in his marketing material in June 2013: He was a “U.S. congressman,” Representative Alan Grayson, Democrat of Florida, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.” [NYTimes]

LongRead: “The Bizarre Money Triangle at the Top of Viacom” by Felix Gillette: “The Redstone succession saga has been unfolding for decades. Questions about his health have come up at least since the 1990s, and his response has always been a variation on how he plans to live forever. This latest, if not final, chapter began on the morning of Nov. 13, 2014, when Redstone joined a routine conference call with the analysts who cover the company. At the start of the proceedings, he wished everyone good morning. His words were faint, slurred, barely audible. He sounded ill.” [Businessweek]

“The Killing of Warren Weinstein” by Daniel Bergner: “After the Jewish American aid worker was abducted in Pakistan, his family undertook a delicate negotiation in hopes of securing his release. But then they got word that he had died — in a United States drone strike.” [NYTimesMag]

SPORTS BLINK: “Robert Kraft: It takes two Mannings to equal one Tom Brady” by Des Bieler: “In an interview Wednesday with Boston station WCVB, the Patriots’ owner couldn’t help tweaking not only Manning, but the Broncos quarterback’s family, including brother Eli, the Giants quarterback, and father Archie, a former NFL quarterback in his own right. “I happened to see Archie there [at the Super Bowl].” Kraft said. “He has two sons now, who have won two Super Bowls [each]. But with all due respect, we got one son — who has won four.” [WashPost]

“American Pharoah’s Second Life as a $200k-a-Night Stud” by Monte Reel: “Just before American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, Coolmore struck a deal for his stud rights with the horse’s owner, Ahmed Zayat. After selling the Egyptian beer company Al-Aharam Beverages to Heineken in the early 2000s, Zayat moved to Teaneck, N.J., and established Zayat Racing Stables in nearby Hackensack. His son Justin, 23, the stable’s manager, says the Coolmore contract prevents him from disclosing terms, but he confirms that the family retained a percentage of the stallion’s potential earnings for themselves.” [Businessweek]

DESSERT: “Zak The Baker To Become a Kosher Deli As Breadmaking Moves Down The Street” by Zachary Fagenson: “Zak Stern thinks Ptcha is sexy. The Ashkenazi dish is made by boiling cow’s feet or knees into oblivion with little more than onion, garlic, and salt. Once rendered out, the whole meat-studded brew is poured into serving trays and cooled. After it’s chilled, the fat is skimmed off and the resulting, ultra savory gelatin is sliced and served with a sliver of hard boiled egg and a single sprig of bright green parsley. “It’s traditional, and tradition is beautiful,” Stern says… Later this year Stern’s Wynwood bakery, Zak the Baker, will become a kosher deli in hopes of keeping alive dishes like Ptcha and other revered Ashkenazi culinary traditions Jewish immigrants brought from the frozen reaches of Eastern Europe.” [MiamiNewTimes]

Léoville Poyferré, St.-Julien, 2005 — Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: “I often wonder what it is about great kosher French wines that gets me into a good mood. Big, rich, voluptuous Cabernets from Israel and Napa make for great conversation and often take over a meal. By contrast, I find the more subtle French wines bring a meal to a higher and more cerebral place.”

“One of the greats in this category is the Chateau Léoville Poyferré. The 2005 vintage is a great wine. Made from Cabernet and Merlot from the Saint Julien appellation in Bordeaux, this wine is extremely subtle. But don’t be fooled. This wine requires a deeper dive. You really need to think when you drink this wine. It is toasty. It is earthy. It has overtones of plum and black currants and a very long, bold finish. I have been drinking the Leoville since the first kosher vintage in 1999. When I drank it in 1999, I thought the wine was too approachable to last. I am still drinking the ever-restrained 1999 and think it is still just as approachable. I would drink the 2005 now and in 20 years.” [Léoville-Poyferré]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak turns 74… Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg turns 74… Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman turns 69… Barry Kayne… Jonathan Neuman… Alejandra Aguirre, Government & Public Affairs Associate at ECA Strategies… New York Giants owner Steve Tisch turns 67… Marty Markowitz… Paulette Nessim… Best selling author, Judy Sussman Blume, turns 78… Economist David D. Friedman, whose father was Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, turns 71… Google’s computer genius, Ray Kurzweil, turns 68… Film director, Darren Aronofsky, turns 47… Comic book author and illustrator, Judd Winick, turns 46… Washington Post’s Carl Bernstein turns 72… Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) turns 70…

** A message from American Jewish World Service: AJWS’s 30th anniversary gala in Los Angeles—March 13th, 2016—will recognize the organization’s incredible and life-changing human rights work in the developing world. The event will honor AJWS President Ruth Messinger and high-profile philanthropists and community leaders who have been instrumental in advancing AJWS’s mission, including Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. Hosted by comedian, actor, writer and producer Nick Kroll, the celebration will also pay tribute to acclaimed Mexican human rights defender Alejandra Ancheita. To attend, support or sponsor the gala, please visit [AJWS] **

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