DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: ADL vs. ZOA — The surprising election of Donald Trump and the President-Elect’s appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist in the White House has pitted two Jewish organizations – The Anti-Defamation League and Zionist Organization of America – against one another.
The Timing: Both the ADL and the ZOA are holding their respective events at the Grand Hyatt in NYC this weekend.
The ADL is kicking off its inaugural “Never is Now!” two-day summit today to address some of the most urgent challenges facing the Jewish community after the tumultuous presidential election. The ZOA is holding their annual Louis Brandeis award dinner on Sunday, and has invited Bannon to attend the event in defiance of the ADL, which has criticized Bannon’s appointment for condoning anti-Semitism as head of Breitbart.
Late yesterday, ZOA announced in a press release that former ADL head Abe Foxman will attend their dinner.
In the evening, Foxman emailed the following statement using an ADL Media email address: “I have decided not to attend the ZOA dinner in New York where my friend Bernie Marcus is being honored. ZOA manipulated and abused my trust when they announced my decision to attend without my permission because they have politicized this event. My intention was solely to be in attendance to honor Bernie Marcus, and not to make any political statement.”
Breitbart News: “Anti-Defamation League Denies Credentials to Jewish Journalist:Nazarian, who is Jewish, has covered antisemitism extensively in her assignments for Breitbart News, focusing on the recent wave of antisemitic incidents on college campuses across California… Nevertheless, the ADL denied credentials to Nazarian — a Jewish journalist with sterling credentials — for no apparent reason.” [Breitbart]
“ADL Sees Online Fundraising Boom After Election” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Last Wednesday, the day after the surprising election results, the ADL received a 50X increase in online donations, mostly from new donors. According to the Jewish civil rights/human relations group, about 75 percent of donations are from first-time donors. Major donors are also making six-figure commitments, increasing their annual contributions in light of the election… “We are heartened by the outpouring of support that we and reportedly other nonprofit organizations in this field have received over the past week,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told Jewish Insider. “They are a testament to the fact that Americans are united against anti-Semitism, hate and prejudice in all forms and will step up and show up in order to fight bigotry.”” [JewishInsider]
TOP TALKER: “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Will Not Seek Security Clearances, Sources Say” by Maggie Haberman: “Neither Ivanka Trump, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s daughter, nor her husband, Jared Kushner, has applied for a security clearance, nor do they intend to, according to two people close to the Trump transition… “It’s appropriate for whoever’s going to get the presidential daily briefing to have a security clearance,” Ms. Conway, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said. “It’s not just appropriate, necessary.” But transition officials said Mr. Kushner had not sat in any security briefings and had no plans to.” [NYTimes]
Alternative headline – “Trump Team Requests Security Clearance for Jared Kushner” by Justin Fishel, John Santucci and Candace Smith: “Trump’s presidential transition team has requested a security clearance for the president-elect’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, sources close to Trump team and the intelligence community confirm to ABC.” [ABCNews]
“Donald Trump’s Son-in-Law Could Get Key White House Role” by Monica Langley:“Kushner is being pushed to join the president’s inner circle by new White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and presidential counselor Stephen Bannon… He is weighing formally joining his father-in-law in the White House, people familiar with the transition say. The 35-year-old Mr. Kushner would have a role in the White House along the lines of senior adviser or special counsel.” [WSJ]
— “People involved in the transition said Kushner is orchestrating nearly everythingalongside Trump and Pence, from personnel to the administration’s initial policy agenda.” [WashPost]
Ross Barkan: “Never thought I’d tweet this (!!) but Jared Kushner is the de facto president of the United States.” [Twitter]
Kellyanne Conway on CBS This Morning: “I spoke with Jared last night and again this morning actually. He has not sought out a national security clearance, he has not applied for any job. But he obviously is incredibly important to his father-in-law President-Elect Trump and was a big, big part of our election victory, frankly. Jared’s been intimately involved with the campaign and the strategy from day one. And I’m sure that he and his– and his wife and her brothers will continue to be very supportive. But– time will tell– in terms of the positions that different people still get.”
“Schumer is next top Senate Democrat, adds Sanders to leadership ranks” by Ed O’Keefe and Mike DeBonis: “Schumer promised a “bigger, bolder, sharper-edged economic message” in his first remarks after his election… In a gesture to his party’s progressive wing, Schumer added Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to a junior role in his newly expanded leadership team. The New York Democrat and his leadership team were elected unanimously by the caucus, aides said… He is the first Jewish man and first New Yorker to serve as a Senate leader.” [WashPost]
“Schumer, Kushner to come together for New York business event” by Annie Karni: “New York business connections may be the first thing to bridge the divide between the incoming Donald Trump administration and Democrats on the Hill. The Partnership for New York City — a local business group that represents 300 New York-based CEOs — is hosting a talk with Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader-elect, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who has become one of the most powerful advisers running his transition team, on Dec. 16 at its annual meeting.” [Politico]
TRANSITION WATCH: “Gaffney denies NYT, WSJ reports that he’s a Trump adviser” by Michael Crowley: “An unattributed quote appeared in the press yesterday indicating that I had been appointed to the Trump transition team,” Gaffney told POLITICO in a statement. “In fact, I had not been contacted by anyone from the team and appreciate the campaign’s clarification today that the previous day’s reports were inaccurate. I look forward to helping the President-elect and the national security-minded team he is assembling in whatever way I can.” [Politico]
“Arab allies no longer reassured by Donald Trump” by Margaret Brennan: “The perception that former New York City Mayor and Secretary of State contender Rudy Giuliani is anti-Palestinian adds to their trepidation. He famously had Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat forcibly removed from Lincoln Center in 1995 during a concert for world leaders. The ardent pro-Israel beliefs of Bannon, as well as transition team member Sheldon Adelson, add to worry that the Trump administration might move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem. Their support for the recent expansion of Israeli settlements further into the Palestinian-held West Bank (strongly condemned by the Obama administration) already has European and Arab diplomats worried that it could irreparably damage the chance of carving out a two-state solution and peace deal.” [CBSNews]
“Charter leader Eva Moskowitz in the mix for Trump education secretary” by Eliza Shapiro:“Moskowitz, the CEO of New York City’s largest and most controversial charter school network, is in the running to become president-elect Donald Trump’s education secretary, a Trump aide confirmed Wednesday morning… The very fact that Moskowitz isn’t shooting down the rumors could have political implications for the longtime Democrat, who has long had ambitions of running for mayor of New York City.” [PoliticoNY]
SPOTTED at Trump Tower yesterday: Moshe Lax, a business partner of Ivanka Trump [Pic] • Michael Glassner, Steve Mnuchin, Boris Epshteyn and Patriots owner Bob Kraft. Trump also met with Eva Moskowitz and Steve Feinberg, according to the transition team.
–Happening Today: Trump will be meeting with Henry Kissinger today.
Tal Shalev scoop: Trump offered Netanyahu to meet in NYC before the inauguration. But the Prime Minister pointed to protocol to avoid embarrassing President Obama before he leaves office. According to two Israeli officials, in their phone call last Wednesday, Trump offered to meet ‘as soon as possible.’ Netanyahu “elegantly declined” the invitation. [WallaNews]
“Candidate Trump’s embrace of Israeli policies may ease once he’s president” by Oren Dorell: “Jonathan Schanzer… said there is also a risk of upending quiet diplomacy that has been proceeding between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Much of that has been prompted by the common perceived threat from Iran. “By all accounts the Arab world has been engaging with Israel more than it ever has,” Schanzer said. “Sudden moves on the Israel-Palestinian front could scuttle any developments that have been made.”” [USAToday]
“Trump presidency bodes ill for Israel-Palestine peace process” by Peter Beaumont: “With president-elect likely to be either maximalist pro-Israel or isolationist, the question is whether stagnant process can survive.” [TheGuardian]
“Israel’s Parliament Gives Preliminary Approval to Pro-Settlement Bill” by Rory Jones:“Israel’s parliament gave preliminary approval to a bill that would legalize settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank, a legislative victory welcomed by Jewish settlers and conservative lawmakers emboldened by Donald Trump’s U.S. election victory. The approval came despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to the bill. He nonetheless voted in favor of the legislation, which would retroactively make legal those Jewish settlements built in the Israeli-occupied territory in violation of current Israeli law and, some say, in breach of international law.” [WSJ]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “De Blasio Urges Trump to Speak Out Amid Rise In Anti-Semitism” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Part of why I think it’s so important to remind the President-elect and his team that there are deep fears and concerns out there is because the wrong messages can encourage hateful acts,” de Blasio told Jewish Insider after the meeting. “So, I certainly made clear that I think sending a message of unity is crucial.” [JewishInsider] • Hate Crimes Jump 30 Percent in 2016, NYPD Stats Show [DNAInfo]
Peter Beinart: “America’s Most Influential Jewish Groups Have Prioritized Netanyahu Over U.S. Jews’ Safety: America’s most influential Jewish leaders have decided that in order to keep Jews safe, they will ignore Donald Trump’s assault on America’s most vulnerable communities” [Haaretz]
Recap of our political panel earlier this week at the GA — Republican Jewish ‘Insiders’ Discuss Donald Trump’s Victory [JewishInsider]
“U.S. Senate leader says Iran sanctions renewal will pass” by Patricia Zengerle: “We’re going to take up the House bill,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters at the Senate’s weekly Republican leadership news conference. “… And we’re going to pass it.” [Reuters]
“Top Senate Democrat challenges Trump on Russia, Iran” by Julian Pecquet: “On Iran, Cardin said he expects the Senate to pass a clear 10-year extension of the expiring Iran Sanctions Act, which would allow the US to “snap back” sanctions on Iran’s energy sector if Tehran violates the nuclear deal. Cardin, who voted against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, however, challenged Trump to work with the international community to strengthen the deal, rather than unilaterally rip it up. “During the debate over the Iran nuclear agreement, I don’t know of a member of Congress who felt that the preferred option was anything other than an agreement with Iran. That was a much better option than using the military option,” Cardin said.” [AlMonitor] • U.N. nuclear watchdog criticizes Iran for overstepping deal limit [Reuters]
SPOTLIGHT: “Bankers celebrate dawn of Trump era” by Ben White: “A populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the campaign trail is now putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker’s dream. Former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin has been seen at Trump Tower amid rumors that he’s the leading candidate for Treasury secretary. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross appears headed to the Commerce Department. Steve Bannon, another Goldman alum, will work steps from the Oval Office. If Mnuchin drops out, as some rumors suggest he may, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon remains a possibility as Treasury secretary, and will serve as an outside adviser if he doesn’t get the job.” [Politico]
“Icahn lauds ‘consensus builder’ Trump, says rally may be overdone” by Jennifer Ablan and Jonathan Stempel: “Icahn, who said he has posted 28 percent annualized returns as an investor, says he regularly talks with legislators in Washington, who complain that the current system prevents them from getting things done. “It’s just a major problem,” said Icahn, who like Trump is from New York. “I was a poor kid from Queens and I made all this money. I love the country, it’s just a lot of the people I don’t like.”” [Reuters]
“Chasing millennials and profits, Univision restructures and lays off at least 200″ by Margaret Sullivan: “Univision is privately held. Its chairman is billionaire investor Haim Saban.”[WashPost]
“Mark Zuckerberg Hacked For The Third Time This Year” by Lee Mathews: “Their target this time: Zuckerberg’s Pinterest account. This is the second time they’ve broken in. OurMine first hacked Zuckerberg back in June, gaining access to both his Twitter account and that same Pinterest account… The hackers also claim to have discovered Zuckerberg’s Twitter password but were unable to sign in.” [Forbes]
HOLLYWOOD: “Superagents Patrick Whitesell And Ari Emanuel Are Building The Future Of Hollywood” by Nicole LaPorte: “It’s a swampy August night in Las Vegas… Amid the arena’s Bud Light–infused fervor, the two most powerful dealmakers in Hollywood sit cageside as if they own the place. Which they do: Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel, co-CEOs of über–talent agency WME-IMG… Whitesell, 51, and Emanuel, 55, are no strangers to confrontation, usually on behalf of their clients… What the UFC deal represents, though, is something entirely different, a new and even more audacious strategic strike that aims to challenge the core assumptions of the entertainment industry. Because this time, instead of just helping others create projects, they’ve made a major, multibillion-dollar leap into owning content themselves.”
“Emanuel, typically a whirling dervish known for his speed phone calls, remains seated alongside Whitesell, transfixed by the action in the cage. Such stillness is uncharacteristic (Emanuel has treadmill desks installed in all his offices), but he is enraptured by the drama of two human beings tearing each other apart. His attention is diverted only once: when he swings around in his $8,000 seat to introduce onetime heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to his teenage son Ezra.” [FastCompany]
DESSERT: “Jerusalem’s Latest Argument Over History Is About Fried Innards” by Isabel Kershner: “In Jerusalem, where arguments about history are a municipal pastime, a debate has been revived about the origins of a local delicacy. Jerusalem’s bustling Mahane Yehuda Market has long been a late-night culinary destination for Middle Eastern standbys like hummus and falafel, as well as more recent additions like burgers and burritos. But there is one dish that is considered authentic: a local concoction known in Hebrew as Meorav Yerushalmi, or Jerusalem mixed grill, made of kosher innards that might otherwise end up in the garbage. The recent death of a shuk food legend, Haim Piro, at 73, revived an old argument over who invented the market’s signature dish.” [NYTimes]
BIRTHDAYS: Biochemist who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Stanley Cohen turns 94… Original creator and producer of Saturday Night Live, more recently producer of The Tonight Show, Lorne Michaels (born Lorne Lipowitz) turns 72… Global Editorial Director of Huffington Post, Howard Fineman turns 68… CEO of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks, South African born Diana Aviv turns 65… Attorney and business executive who once played on the South African national teams in both cricket and field hockey, Mandy Yachad turns 56… National Security Advisor, formerly US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice turns 52… Nationl security reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Felicia Schwartz turns 25… Daniel Gastaldi… Halie Soifer… “The Travelling Rabbi” of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies who serves 13 sub-Saharan countries, Moshe Silberhaft… Zack Teichman…