Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Trump was on Bibi’s donor list | Cruz’s Jewish team | Iran deal splits Dems in Chicago | Lorraine Schwartz’s legendary shabbat dinners

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FLASHBACK: Trump Was on Bibi’s List of Potential Donors: According to a document we came across this week, the history between Netanyahu and Trump goes back to 2007 when the Likud leader plotted his return to the Prime Minister’s office. Bibi’s list includes names of foreign and local donors and a reordered list in Netanyahu’s own handwriting, in which he divided donors into four categories according to whether contacting them is “worth the effort.” Trump was listed as a potential donor although he was placed in the fourth category with only a small chance of donating. Ivanka Trump’s father-in-law Charles Kushner was also on the list in the first category. [JewishInsider] • See Bibi’s handwritten list of donors [Pic]

New Ad from Bill Kristol & Noah Pollak’s Emergency Committee for Israel: “Putin, Assad, Saddam, Mussolini, the Tiananmen Square massacre — why is Donald Trump always kissing up to dictators?” [YouTube]

Hugh Hewitt writes… “And if Trump is the nominee I will support him for six reasons… Donald’s daughter and Svengali, Ivanka, is a smart, smart, smart lady with an extraordinary intellect and influence on her father. We get the GOP’s own Valerie Jarrett, only this one with a sense of America’s role in the world and the same resolve to succeed as Jarrett possesses.” [WashExaminer]

On Friday, after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Trump, a tweet of ours from November was retweeted over 420 times: “Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to receive $93M in tax breaks from Chris Christie’s State government” [TwitterIJReview]

TOP TALKER: “Donald Trump stumbles on David Duke, KKK” by Eric Bradner: “Donald Trump stumbled into a racially charged controversy Sunday, saying in an interview on CNN that he didn’t know enough to disavow former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.” [CNNJI] • “Trump blames ‘lousy earpiece’ for KKK flap” [Politico]

Ari Shavit: “As an Israeli Who Loves America, I Am Worried by Trump: White Christian America is becoming a minority. In the two election campaigns won by Barack Obama, American politics celebrated the change. Now comes the reaction.” [Haaretz]

“Marco Rubio is Trying to Beat Donald Trump the Way Netanyahu Won His Last Election” by Yair Rosenberg: “The Israeli prime minister also needed to consolidate a divided conservative field to beat a challenger. His unorthodox strategy succeeded, and it looks like Marco Rubio has taken note.” [TabletMag]

“Rubio strikes Trump on Israel, seeking crucial Florida win” by Michael Wilner: “While the state’s Jewish voters number up to 500,000– for perspective, Barack Obama won the state in 2012 by just 74,000 votes– roughly two thirds of that electorate reliably votes Democratic.. Nevertheless, Rubio’s aggressive stance on Israel is defining his foreign policy early on in his candidacy… A Quinnipiac poll from August showed that 61 percent of Floridians oppose the nuclear deal reached with Iran last summer– a position reflected by Rubio.” [JPost]

Cruz Announces Jewish Leadership Team: “Since the day we announced our campaign, we have been honored to see tremendous support from the Jewish community.” Cruz said in a statement. “I have been privileged to speak at synagogue services from New York to California to Florida, to celebrate Passover Seders with my friends in Texas, and to participate in events with Elie Wiesel and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.” [JewishInsider]

–Full list: Ken Abramowitz, Raanan Agus, Dr. Alan Berger, Dr. Marc Berger, Dr. Ben Chouake, Edward Czuker, Elissa Czuker, Rabbi Pini Dunner, Joseph Frager, Saul Gamoran, Eli Gold, Todd Hanik, Rabbi Shmully Hecht, David Horwitz, Benjamin Klein, Batya Klein, Morton Klein, Melissa Jane Kronfeld, Adam Kwasman, Orit Kwasman, Barbara Ledeen, Dr. Michael Ledeen, Esther Lerer, Arie Lipnick, Steven Mitzner, Ira Mitzner, Kevin Pailet, Rabbi Shlomo Pollak, Rabbi Elchanan Poupko, Rabbi Zev Reichman, Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt, Dr. Pejman Salimpour, Dr. Joseph Schwartz, Chaya Schwartz, Trudy Stern, Sarah Stern. [PressRelease]

Nathan Guttman profiles campaign children — “Levi Sanders Tiptoes Out of Shadows — What Does Only Son Tell Us About Bernie?” [Forward] • “Why Is Hillary Clinton’s Jewish Son-In-Law Avoiding Campaign Spotlight?” [Forward]

IRANIAN ELECTIONS: “Moderates Win Majority in Tehran in Iranian Elections” by Aresu Eqbali and Asa Fitch: “Allies of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate in the ultraconservative clerical regime, have won 15 of the 16 seats in Tehran in the Assembly of Experts election, state media reported early Monday.” [WSJ]

Eli Lake: “But wait. Didn’t Iran’s Guardian Council disqualify most of the reformists back in January? Of course it did, but thanks to the magic of Iranian politics, many of yesterday’s hardliners are today’s reformist.” [BloombergView]

“Iran deal splits Democrats in suburban Chicago US House race” by Sara Burnett: “Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the minority whip who had the monumental job of securing Democratic support for Obama’s plan, is backing suburban mayor Nancy Rotering over former U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider in the 10th Congressional district primary, largely because she expressed support for the pact and Schneider initially opposed it. Abner Mikva also abandoned Schneider for Rotering… Schneider has endorsements from Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi.” [AP]

Nadler Faces Accomplished Republican Challenger With Iran As Major Issue: “Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish political leaders and its community will be put to the test at the ballot box on their vow to actively support a candidate to run against 24-year incumbent Congressman Jerrold Nadler because of his support for the Iran nuclear arms deal last year. Upper West Side physicist, attorney and successful entrepreneur Phillip J. Rosenthal has nabbed both the Republican and Conservative Party lines.” [KingsCountyPolitics]

LOGISTICS: “Obama’s trip to Cuba may put kibosh on Netanyahu attending AIPAC event” by Herb Keinon: “Netanyahu, who has been invited to address the AIPAC conference, has not yet formally announced that he will attend, and one of the considerations is whether a meeting with Obama can be arranged, something that seems difficult given the timing of the president’s Cuba trip. A final announcement on whether Netanyahu will attend the AIPAC event is expected by the end of the week.” [JPost]

IF YOU READ ONLY ONE ITEM — The Saturday Essay: “Israel’s Options in a Chaotic Middle East” by Yossi Klein Halevi: “Until the first intifada, Israelis had tended to regard control of the territories won by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War as benign, bringing prosperity to the occupied as well as to the occupiers. As the intifada took hold, Israeli anger turned not only against the Palestinians but against the ruling Likud… Today, too, there is widespread disaffection with a Likud government’s response to stabbings. Some 70% of Israelis say that the government has been ineffectual, and nearly as many say they feel personally unsafe. Yet, unlike 1992, there are no antigovernment demonstrations, and few calls for a resumption of the moribund peace process.” [WSJ]

Isaac Herzog in the NYTimes: “Polls show that our separation plan has earned the support of over 65 percent of Israelis. At the end of the road, a negotiated two-state solution, recognizing Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the nation state of the Palestinian people, remains the only way in which both sides can realize their aspirations. For this to be achieved, the process of managed separation must begin now.” [NYTimes]

“Israeli Minister: Palestinian Authority Will Collapse, the Only Question Is When” by Barak Ravid: “Elkin says he decided to go public with his warnings after trying to bring the subject up at cabinet meetings to no avail. ‘I’m not sure that the government has passed the diagnostic stage and realized the dramatic change we are facing.'” [Haaretz]

“Talk Grows About Who Will Succeed Palestinians’ Fading Mahmoud Abbas” by Steven Erlanger: “While most believe Mr. Abbas intends to die in office, his isolation is increasing. “Abu Mazen is like a tree in the wind, with leaves blowing off everywhere,” said a former aide. “He thinks everyone is listening to him, but no one is listening anymore.” [NYTimes]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Bill Gates: Israeli tech ‘changing the world’” [ToI] • “An Update to YU’s Finances” [Commentator• “Schwarzman Gets $734 Million in Record Year for Blackstone” [Bloomberg] • “Icahn offers to buy remaining stake in Federal-Mogul” [Reuters]

SPOTLIGHT: “For Some Men, Mark Zuckerberg Is a Lifestyle Guru” by Matt Haber: “Each year, Mr. Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder and C.E.O., who is now 31, has made public pledges to improve himself. His efforts have been closely tracked by the press and by users of his globe-spanning social network who seem never to forget his promises… Mr. Zuckerberg’s efforts have made him the object of fascination and emulation among a subset of millennials in and around the tech industry. More than seeing Mr. Zuckerberg as merely an avatar of tech success and unfathomable wealth, they consider him a role model.” [NYTimes]

OSCAR RECAP: “The Oscars’ 7 Most Jewish Moments” by Maia Efrem: “‘The Big Short’ writer Charles Randolph thanks his wife in Hebrew, Ali G makes a comeback and ‘Son of Saul’ takes the award for Best Foreign Feature during Hollywood’s biggest night.” [Haaretz]

Israeli Consul Gen. David Siegel writes: “The country BDS doesn’t want Oscar winners to see… Many countries run public relations campaigns in the U.S. to burnish their national brands and promote tourism. Only Israel – the one democracy and America’s strongest ally in the region – is systematically singled out and criticized for it.” [JewishJournal]

“Hobnobbing With… Lorraine Schwartz” by Marshall Heyman: “Going out or entertaining at home? My Shabbat dinners are legendary. You never know who’s going to be there. It could be a hip-hop Shabbat, or a country music Shabbat. I’ve had Pharrell Williams, Sofia Vergara, Kanye and Kim, ambassadors and heads of state. We have a lot of good food, some wine and after dinner we play Celebrity.” [WSJ] • “Meet Lorraine Schwartz, the Jewish Queen of Oscars Bling” [Forward]

“An Oscars event so exclusive that Elton John wasn’t invited” by Ian Mohr: “Barry Diller hosted his annual Oscars weekend luncheon at his Beverly Hills estate with Diane von Furstenberg on Saturday — and this year’s guest list was more exclusive then ever… Spotted were Les Moonves, Michael Eisner, Jim Gianopulos, Howard Stringer, Tom Freston, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steve Tisch and Robert Kraft, along with Bradley Cooper, David O. Russell, Oprah Winfrey, the Coen bros., Matt Weiner, Larry Gagosian, Julianne Moore, Norman Lear, Bette Midler and Ginevra Elkann.” [NYPost]

LongRead: “Dirty Hands: A cheating scandal in the world of professional bridge” by David Owen: “In 2010, Lotan Fisher and Ron Schwartz—Israeli bridge players in their early twenties—were members of the team that won the World Junior Teams Championship. The following year, their team won the European Youth Bridge Team Championships and they were invited to compete in a number of tournaments that included most of the world’s top players… Last summer, at an international event in Chicago, Boye Brogeland, a Norwegian player, became convinced that Fisher and Schwartz had made prescient bids and plays that they couldn’t have found with skillful sleuthing alone.” [NewYorker]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Two guys are turning an old Jerusalem market into a portrait gallery of famous Jews” by William Booth: “A good argument can be made that the soul of Jewish Jerusalem is the old Mahane Yehuda market, known as “the shuk.” Now it is set to become the largest Jewish portrait gallery in the world. There are about 360 metal shutters that roll down to protect the fruit, fish and bakery stalls at night. Solomon Souza has spray-painted portraits on 140 of them.” [WashPost]

SPOTTED YESTERDAY at the Crown Heights JCC Legislative Brunch in Brooklyn, NY, by Jacob Kornbluh: Chanina Sperlin, Zaki Isaac Tamir, Yossi Hackner, Fishel Brownstein, Eli Cohen, Rivkah Shur, Scott Stringer, Tish James, Ken Thompson, Eric Adams, Melissa Mark Viverito, David Greenfield, Rep. Yvette Clarke, Walter Mosley, NY1’s Errol Louis, Sholom Ber Drizin, Michael Miller, David Pollock, Jeff Leb, Jason Koppel, Ronnie Tawil, Kalman Yeger, Yeruchem Silber, Ezra Friedlander, Wolf Sender, Ryan Karben, Mark Meyer Appel, Leon Goldenberg, Yidel Lichtenstein, Rabbi Jacob Goldstein, Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, Rabbi Avrohom Leider, Pinny Hikind, Yoel Lefkowitz, Joel Eisdorfer, Abe Friedman, Joel Friedman, Eli Slavin, Yanky Itzkowitz, Moshe Indig, Isaac Sofer, Pinny Ringel, Yidel Perlstein, Shlomo Heller, Barry Spitzer, Gary Schlesinger, Simcha Bernat, Chesky Klein, David Schwartz, Marcos Masri.

DESSERT: “Recipes And Restaurants Are Keeping The Culture Of Jewish Australia Vibrant” by Hannah Mars: “Jude is Israeli, and Grandma’s is a celebration of the food he and his family have cooked and eaten for generations. “We really concentrate on homemade food,” he says. “Jewish food in general for us is very homemade, and very family orientated.”” [BuzzFeed]

BIRTHDAYS: Former US Supreme Court law clerk and now UCLA law professor, Eugene Volokh, turns 48…  Ira Forman, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the State Department (yesterday)…

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