FIRST LOOK — Israel’s first F-35 unveiled at Lockheed Martin: Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and an IAF delegation welcomed the first of thirty three F-35 fighter jets at a Lockheed Martin factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Thanking President Obama, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Congress, Lieberman stressed the special bond shared by Israel and America, despite “some disagreements, some disputes, with the U.S. on the political level regarding some solutions with our neighbors.” U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro, cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas House Rep. Craig Goldman were present as well.
“Obama Wants to Stop Subsidizing Israel’s Defense Industry” by Eli Lake: “President Barack Obama is now looking to end this U.S. subsidy of Israel’s defense sector, according to U.S. and Israeli officials. They say the “offshore procurement” provision, unique to Israel’s aid package, is one of the last obstacles to completing an agreement to extend aid until 2029. Obama would like to phase out the agreement that allows Israel to spend 26 percent of U.S. annual aid at home. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, so far, disagrees.”
“Former Israeli ambassador to Washington Michael Oren, has urged Netanyahu to go slow. Elliott Abrams told me he agrees with Oren. “If you do it this year, you will give Obama a talking point for why he is the best person for Israeli security, ever,” he said. “And Obama will misuse that in his last months in office to produce his parameters for the peace talks.” Abrams has a point. Obama has been doing this since he came into office.” [BloombergView]
Peres slams Israeli critics of Obama: It wouldn’t hurt us to say thank you: “Yesterday was a very important day in the history of Israel,” Peres stated. “The United States handed over to us one of the best planes in the world. The F-35, which will add great power to our air force.” Peres said that at times like these, “We must stand up and say thank you to the United States and to US President Barack Obama, who granted us what America has not granted to any other nation.” [JPost]
“Baratz appointed to PM’s PR chief through roundabout appointment” by Itamar Eichner:“Netanyahu has found a solution to circumvent an obstacle which has brought about the rejection of Dr. Ran Baratz’s appointment as head of public diplomacy in the Prime Minister’s Office by the Civil Service Commission. Baratz was instead appointed to be a senior consultant in the PMO, and will receive 95 percent of a full director general’s salary. In essence, Baratz will be conducting the same duties which fell under his purview in the role previously intended for him: formulating PR strategy, writing speeches, and assembling briefings.” [YNetNews]
KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: A rare, semi-historic make-up meeting occurred last night, as Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party, arrived at the home of Rabbi Shalom Cohen, the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Shas Party to pay his condolences for the passing of Cohen’s wife earlier this week. Three years ago, Cohen described the leadership of the national-religious sector in Israel, including Bennett, as “Amalek,” the biggest biblical enemy of the Jewish people. “Are these people even Jews?” he asked at the time in a sermon, fueling existing tensions between the national religious and Orthodox publics.
At the time, Bennett was engaged in a political “bromance” with Yair Lapid, who ran on an anti-Haredi platform, sparking rage and anger from Shas and UTJ. But in recent months, Bennett has turned the page, forging a warm alliance with Yaakov Litzman, health minister and UTJ head. The two have been cooperating on legislative issues. Bennett’s first meeting with Rabbi Cohen since entering the political scene is another sign of this new reality. “I love all Jews. Certainly that includes the national-religious community. Even if at times what I said sounded harsh, it’s coming from love,” Cohen told Bennett.
DEEP DIVE: “Boeing’s Man Pushed for the Iran Nuclear Deal—and Now the Company Is Selling $25 Billion Worth of Planes to Tehran” by Betsy Woodruff: “The American aerospace giant isn’t exactly publicizing the fact that it paid a lobbying firm to “monitor” the nuclear agreement that made its $25 billion sale to Tehran possible. Or that Boeing has on its payroll a former top Clinton administration official who used his clout to garner support in the corridors of powers for the Iran deal. Thomas Pickering, one of the country’s most respected diplomats and a former ambassador to Israel and the United Nations, has been quietly taking money from Boeing while vocally supporting the Iran nuclear deal.” [DailyBeast]
2016 RoundUp — by Jacob Kornbluh: Seeking to reboot his campaign, Donald Trump launched a blistering attack on Hillary Clinton’s record and character, slamming her as a “world class liar” who raked in personal profits from her tenure at the State Department. Asserting that Israel has been mistreated by the Obama administration, Trump added, “Thanks to Hillary Clinton, Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East, and on the road to nuclear weapons,” whereas before she came into office, “Iran was being choked by sanctions.” Trump’s advisor David Friedman, speaking to Channel 2 News, vowed that Trump would increase military aid should MOU negotiations with the Obama administration hit a wall. Clinton responded by calling his remarks “outlandish lies and conspiracy theories.” Speaking in North Carolina, Clinton outlined her own economic plan as an alternative to Trump’s “reckless ideas that will run up our debt and cause another economic crash.”
Ari Fleischer: “Finally. Trump gives powerful well-delivered take down on what’s wrong w Hillary. Parts were uplifting. Parts were tough. Finally. Well done.” [Twitter]
Chemi Shalev: “This was Trump at his “presidential” best, the one that is supposed to extricate his campaign from the deep morass that he sunk it in.. The main problem is that the man who took to the podium in New York on Wednesday wasn’t really Trump.” [Haaretz]
“Meet Jared Kushner” by Jane C. Timm: “Donald Trump’s speech Wednesday attacking rival Hillary Clinton and the corresponding website LyingCrookedHillary.com was the brainchild of an unlikely adviser: son-in-law Jared Kushner.” [NBCNews]
INBOX — Prominent, Bipartisan Group of Business Leaders Endorse Hillary Clinton for President: Names include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, IAC’s Barry Diller, Qualcomm’s Irwin Jacobs and Paul Jacobs, Box CEO Aaron Levie, Westfield CEO Peter Lowy, Rebecca Minkoff, Zynga Co-Founder Mark Pincus, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders appears to be close to conceding defeat to Hillary Clinton. “It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee,” Sanders said during a taped C-SPAN interview. Sanders is expected to address supporters on “where we go from here” in New York today. His spokesman Michael Briggs said the speech will not include a concession but will address the kinds of policies Sanders will push the party to enact.
BUSINESS BRIEFS: U.S. Investigates Credit Suisse Over Possible Client Tax Evasion at Israeli Unit [WSJ] • Gas Explorers Begin Work to Develop Israel’s Leviathan Field [Bloomberg] • Traders set to act after vote on Brexit [FinancialTimes] • Kraft’s plan for a Dorchester soccer stadium faces stiff competition [BostonGlobe] • Chetrit’s $1B mixed-use Miami River project to launch sales this summer [RealDeal] • Tel Aviv-based Kwik raises $3 million to take on Amazon Dash buttons [TechCrunch]
BREXIT — “Big Lie: That Voting ‘Leave’ Is Bad for Israel” by Seth Lipsky: “If Europe is so hostile to Israel as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron insists it is, why would any friend of the Jewish state want to be part of the EU in the first place?” [Haaretz]
SPOTLIGHT: “Israel Builds Railway in Hope of Boosting Commerce With Arab Neighbors” by Orr Hirschauge and Rory Jones: “More than a hundred years ago, the Ottoman Empire built a railway line that shuttled goods on steam locomotives from the Mediterranean Sea to the souks of Damascus and the Saudi holy city of Medina. Now Israel is poised to open new tracks tracing the old line between the port city of Haifa and a terminal 5 miles short of the Jordanian border. The effort is a bid to boost moribund commerce with the country’s Arab neighbors. But they have officially given the project a frosty reception, hampering its prospects even as trade flourishes along the route.” [WSJ]
PROFILE: “At 31, she runs one of the hottest biotech companies in the country” by Andrew Joseph: “The question on the test was about CRISPR, but Rachel Haurwitz, then a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, botched it. She had never heard the term. Less than a decade later, Haurwitz is the CEO of Caribou Biosciences, one of the leading companies pursuing commercial applications of CRISPR, a remarkable gene-editing tool that could help scientists develop new medical treatments and advance other industries.” [StatNews] h/t ReDef
MEDIA WATCH: “Alice Rogoff’s Alaskan news empire faces legal woes” by Emily Heil: “No one said being a media mogul was easy. Alice Rogoff, the wife of Washington-based billionaire financier David Rubenstein, is facing legal and business challenges in her improbable quest to build a news empire in Alaska. She’s being sued by a former lieutenant, who claimed in a court filing last week that he is owed more than $1 million. (Weird detail: The contract he cites was drawn up on a cocktail napkin in pen.)” [WashPost]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “Rabbi Rules Against Top Kosher Restaurateur” by Hannah Dreyfus:“Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University and a renowned halachic authority in the broader Orthodox world, announced in a ruling dated June 14 that restaurateur Joseph Allaham owes the synagogue “at least $1,473,286.” The synagogue’s total claim against Allaham was $1.9 million.” [JewishWeek]
TALK OF OUR NATION: “Tunisia’s last Jewish community dream of a move to Israel ‘en masse'” by Daniella Cheslow: “Cracked tombstones litter the cemetery behind Djerba’s Great Synagogue, but it was not vandals who broke them. Hundreds of Jewish families have moved away from this Tunisian island community in the past five decades, digging up their relatives’ remains to take with them and leaving only the slabs of marble behind… This flight of the dead foreshadows a bleak future for the Jews of Djerba, who trace their arrival on this North African island to more than two millennia ago, after the sacking of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BC.” [TheGuardian]
“You Should Know… Rachel Giattino” by Jared Feldschreiber: “Rachel Giattino is a millennial leader, and a productive one at that. Giattino was hired in August 2012 as the first paid employee of Gather the Jews, a Washington organization that gives people in their 20s and 30s information about local events. Through her contacts there, she landed her current position as program officer at the Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies in Washington.” [WashingtonJewishWeek]
BIRTHDAYS: Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, for 40 years, the grandson of a synagogue cantor, James Levine turns 73… Actress, singer Marielle Jaffe turns 27… Real estate developer and co-founder of Tishman Speyer, Jerry Speyer turns 76… President & CEO of Amplify Public Affairs, Robin Strongin… Josh Lauder… Yale Strom…
**Join us for Friday Night in Aspen: On July 1st, Jewish Insider will host a Friday Night Dinner, nourished by OneTable, on the sidelines of the Aspen Ideas Festival in downtown Aspen. The dinner will feature a conversation between Leon Wieseltier and Julia Ioffe along with an upscale Israeli/California wine tasting courtesy of our weekly wine columnist Yitz Applbaum. Details and request for invitation here**