Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Boeing signs deal with Iran | Start-Up Nation Slowing Down? | Arnon Milchan on the movie business, Shimon Peres & Israel | Casspi BDay

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IRAN DEAL: “Boeing Signs Deal to Sell Jets to Iran’s State Airline” by Robert Wall: “Boeing Co. Tuesday said it had signed a tentative agreement to sell jetliners to Iran, in what would be one of the Islamic Republic’s biggest deals with a U.S. manufacturer since trade sanctions on Tehran were eased. The proposed agreement, which drew swift opposition from those concerned about business dealings with Iran, comes after months of talks between Boeing and Iran Air.” [WSJNYTimes]

State Department’s John Kirby: “I can tell you that the State Department welcomes Boeing’s announcement of this deal with Iran Air, which involves the type of permissible business activity envisioned in the JCPOA. Boeing has been in close contact with the State Department regarding this deal.”[Transcript]

FDD’s Emanuele Ottolenghi writes in The Hill: “Beyond the risks that their planes could be used by Iranian entities to support Assad or perhaps other brutal regimes, there are financial risks involved in these deals, including the threat of lawsuits from attorneys trying to collect $50 billion of outstanding judgments for victims of Iranian terrorism. These could create reputational nightmares, if not costly legal battles. For Boeing and others associated with this deal, the risks may very well outweigh the rewards.” [TheHill]

“Trump Slams Clinton Over Boeing Deal with Iran” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, would not have been allowed to enter into these negotiations with Boeing without Clinton’s disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal,” the Trump campaign said in a news release. “This is another example of Clinton’s pay-to-play governing style. She will cut deals with our foreign adversaries as long as they are willing to line her pockets.” [JewishInsider]

2016 ROUNDUP — by Jacob Kornbluh: Trump met yesterday with more than 1000 conservative Christian and evangelical leaders, where he fielded questions about faith, social issues, and Israel. He “vigorously defended Israel” and said, “I can’t imagine that Bibi likes Obama so much,” according to Breitbart News. “I’m 100 percent for Israel,¨ Trump told the evangelical crowd. Gary Bauer, who supported Cruz, told Politico he is planning a more formal endorsement in the coming weeks.

Outside the venue, dozens protested Trump’s campaign rhetoric in a vigil organized by Bend the Arc Action. Following the event, the Trump campaign released a list of people named to his evangelical executive advisory board, including former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. The presumptive Republican nominee also shrugged off his campaign funding lag and announced new hires to expand campaign operations. Citing his personal wealth, Trump hinted he may self fund. Fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told GOP donors on a conference that Trump will double staff and “compete fiercely” in NY. Lewandowski also praised Sheldon Adelson.

Dan Senor to Charlie Rose: “Donald Trump Has A Donald Trump Problem, Not A Corey Lewandowski Problem” [YouTube]

Donor Advice from Charlie & Lisa Spies: Charles Spies suggested Trump should invest between $100 to $200 million to jump-start his campaign and win over big donors. His wife, Lisa, said Trump should start reaching out directly to donors. “No donors that I deal with — and I deal with national Jewish and women donors — none of them has gotten a phone call. None. Not one,” Lisa Spies told The Washington Post. “To raise money, you have to ask for money. It’s that simple.”

PLATFORM DEBATE: “Are Republicans Facing a Nasty Platform Battle of Their Own Over Israel?” by Nathan Guttman: “The Iron Dome Alliance, a new fundraising organization whose name pays tribute to Israel’s mobile rocket defense system, is leading the Republican charge to change their party’s stance on the two-state solution: one for Israelis, one for Palestinians. The party supports it, albeit cautiously; the Iron Dome Alliance wants to leave the question of Israel’s security entirely in Israel’s hands.” [Forward]

“In defeat, Sanders begins changing the Democratic Party” by Dave Weigel: “Sanders’ allies on the drafting platform committee have struggled to get the party to endorse new language on Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians. But in conversations with Clinton delegates, there have been reasons for optimism on the rest of the Sanders policy planks — Medicare for all, for example — and on reform of superdelegates.” [WashPost]

Former Rep. Henry Waxman emails… “Those who litigate the particulars of a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians by fighting for controversial language in the Democratic platform are severely misguided. Make no mistake: Inserting unnecessarily contentious changes to the platform would serve only to hurt our nominee in November and undermine the prospect of a two-state solution during the next administration.”

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The Knesset is sizzling ever since the beginning of the week over a secret document held by the Israeli police’s head of investigations department, which could turn into political dynamite: The document contains information about possible alleged criminal activities by each and every one of the 120 members of the Israeli parliament. The vast majority of these possible crimes were never officially investigated, making the document’s very existence very strange, and raising allegations by politicians that it was essentially an “extortion list” used against different politicians.

The document was first exposed by Israeli channel 10, and ever since, everyone in the Knesset is searching for rumors about its contents: who did what, where, when and with who else. However, according to recent reports, only one member of Knesset is actually listed in the document as an actual suspect – and that member just so happens to be minister of interior security, Gilad Erdan (Likud) who is responsible for the police. Erdan hasn’t responded to these reports, and it should be noted he has never been formally investigated by the police.

Besides the sheer joy of gossiping, the document raises real concerns about the fact that the police seem to have systematically been gathering information against the country’s legislators. Today, the chief of police, Roni Elsheikh, appointed by Erdan earlier this year (with strong backing by prime minister Netanyahu), will arrive at the Knesset to answer some tough questions about the affair. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit denied any wrongdoing was done by the police, and reassured the public that any information about suspicions against politicians be directly transferred to his office before any further steps are taken.

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Patrick Drahi’s Altice Closes Buy of Cablevision: Altice USA is now the fourth-largest broadband provider in the U.S.” [WSJ] • “Salesforce also made a bid for LinkedIn, CEO Benioff confirms” [ReCode] • “Israeli disaster recovery startup Zerto scores $20M in Series E follow-on” [GeekTime]

STARTUP NATION: “Israel Tech-Hub Status Hampered by Growth Slump, Talent Drought” by Gwen Ackerman: “Israel’s long-held status as a hotbed of tech innovation is under threat. Despite record venture capital investment last year in young technology companies, growth in the so-called “startup nation” is slowing… Alphabet Inc. chairman Eric Schmidt warned Israeli entrepreneurs and investors in Tel Aviv this month that Beijing and northern Europe were becoming “worthy competitors” for the title of “startup nation.” [Bloomberg]

SPOTLIGHT: “New York’s newest ride-hail app is feeding off drivers’ desperation” by Johana Bhuiyan: “New York’s newest ride-hail app is everything drivers have ever wanted: A partner, a good listener and — just maybe — a steady stream of cash. the company has reserved one billion of the company’s shares for drivers and plans to issue 25 million shares per quarter depending on how much each person drives for Juno. The company, founded by Viber co-founder Talmon Marco who sold the company to Rakuten for $900 million, has also nabbed 10,000 square feet of office space on the 84th floor of One World Trade Center, where Marco is paying at least $750,000 for a year-long lease.” [ReCode]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: The UJA-Federation of New York honored Jerry W. Levin at their Banking and Finance Event at the Pierre in NYC. Outgoing Israeli Consul Gen. Ido Aharoni introduced Levin by likening him to a pillar. “Like a pillar, he’s always there, always calm, patient, doesn’t make a lot of noise and serves as a model to others.” Levin presented Aharoni with a Shinola watch from Detroit joking that “Ido has worked for the Israeli government for 25 years and there’s no way he can afford a house with enough walls to hang all the certificates he’s received at farewell parties in recent weeks.” Levin concluded, “I want to thank all the salmon that gave their life — whether baked, grilled or sushi — this UJA benefit season. We appreciate your dedication.” (laughter)

Spotted: Alisa & Dan Doctoroff, Eric Goldstein, Dan Arbess, Carol Levin, Yiddish Singer Elmore James, Gidi & Betty Grinstein, Mitchell Davidson, Chavie Kahn & Heshy Kofman, Michael Miller, John Shapiro, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Rabbi Marc Schneier, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Indian State Grants Jews Minority Status” by Shefali Anand:“India’s Jews cheered after the Maharashtra state government on Tuesday granted them official status as a “minority” community. “It’s long overdue” given that Jews have been in India for more than 2000 years, said Erza Moses, managing trustee of the Shaar Hashamaim synagogue in Thane, a suburb of Mumbai.”[WSJ]

HOLLYWOOD: A Rare Interview With Megaproducer Arnon Milchan: What He Spent on ‘The Revenant’ and Why “the Movie Business Stinks” — by Stephen Galloway: “The movie business stinks. If somebody asked me, “What’s a good way to make money?” I would say, “Stay away from the movie business, period.” Take Revenant: You take the cost, you add P&A [prints and advertising] and the distribution fee — you have $300 million behind one movie. This past year we had Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Big Short and Aloha [and Unfinished Business], too — we had five movies out on the same day, almost. That’s $1.5 billion. All you pray is to break even or make a little bit. If I took all that money and put it in the bank, I’d make five times more, without risk. But I’m a junkie.”

So you still travel all the time? “I love it. I follow the sun. Israelis and Jews like myself don’t like to be cold.” Besides Murdoch, who else do you admire? “I just talked to [former Israeli President] Shimon Peres, who’s 92. We were talking about some peace process, hopefully one day. I said, “It’s so depressing.” He said, “Don’t look down. If you never looked up to the sky, you’d have no chance to see the stars. Look at your shoes, you only see your shoes.” [HollywoodReporter]

BIRTHDAYS: Israeli born NBA player Omri Casspi turns 28… UJA President Alisa Doctoroff… Program director for the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Rafi M. Rone… United States Senator from California since 1992, Dianne Feinstein turns 83… UK judge, who chaired high profile hearings on ethics in the media, Sir Brian Henry Leveson turns 73…

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