DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Trump Faces Battle to Undo Iran Nuclear Deal” by Jay Solomon: “Donald Trump as president will be positioned to swiftly pull the U.S. out of the Obama administration’s landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, as he suggested during his campaign. A much harder task for Mr. Trump, however, is to convince other global powers to join him and dismantle a deal that President Barack Obama says has diminished the threat of another war in the Mideast and opened a path for reduced tensions in the region.” [WSJ]
“‘Never Trump’ GOP preparing to work with Trump to squeeze Iran” by Josh Rogin: “There are several issues that I can work with the new president on, the Iran deal being number one,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who voted for independent candidate Evan McMullin, told me. “Trump has been right about the Iran deal, it needs to be renegotiated. I’m going to create leverage for him.” The strategy is to tighten the noose on Iran such that if and when President Trump tries to renegotiate the Iran deal, as he promised to do on the campaign trail, the Iranians will be under more pressure to come to the table.” [WashPost]
“Making the Iran Nuclear Deal Great Again” by Eli Lake: “If Hillary Clinton had won the election, the excess heavy water would likely remain in the non-compliance category. But Donald Trump will be the next president, and he has promised to enforce the 2015 deal with vigor… it’s worth asking who is to blame if the Iranians do walk away from the agreement because the U.S. president actually enforces its terms. Will it be Trump or Iran who has wrecked Obama’s foreign policy legacy?” [BloombergView]
“Obama Administration Loosens Nuclear Deal After Iran Violates It” by Jenna Lifhits:“[State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark] Toner said he was not going to “use the ‘v word'” to describe Iran’s possession of excess heavy water, since the country “owned up” to its error. “If Iran refused to abide by that limit, or obfuscated or tried to hide the ball…then that would be a major concern, and that could be considered a violation,” Toner continued. “But they’re not.” [WeeklyStandard]
“Trump foreign policy adviser: Trump will demand changes to the Iran nuclear deal” by Andrew Kaczynski: “Ripping up is maybe a too strong of word, he’s gonna take that agreement, it’s been done before in international context, and then review it,” [Walid] Phares said on BBC radio Thursday. “He will take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore few issues or change few issues, and there will be a discussion. It could be a tense discussion but the agreement as is right now — $150 billion to the Iranian regime without receiving much in return and increasing intervention in four countries — that is not going to be accepted by a Trump administration.”[CNN]
TOP TALKER: “Adviser says Trump won’t rip up Iran deal, signals he may not move embassy” by Joshua Davidovich: “Appearing to walk back statements made by president-elect and other advisers, Walid Phares says nuclear pact will be ‘renegotiated,’ US mission will only be moved to Jerusalem under ‘consensus,’ brokering Israeli-Palestinian peace deal will be top priority.” [ToI]
“Goldberg: Are you surprised?
Kissinger: I thought Hillary would win.
JG: Do you feel better about Trump’s competence, or his seriousness?
HK: We should stop debating that question. He is the president-elect. We must give him an opportunity to develop his philosophy.
JG: Are you going to help him?
HK: I will not reach out to him, but that has been my approach to every president since I left office. If he asks me to come see him, I will.” [TheAtlantic]
TRANSITION: “Trump and Obama Hold Cordial 90-Minute Meeting in Oval Office” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “Mr. Trump’s trip was surreal for many Republicans and Democrats in Washington, who never expected to see the real estate executive and reality television star in an Oval Office meeting to begin preparations to lead the most powerful nation in the world. Mr. Trump, whose campaign drew support from white supremacist groups, sat just in front of a bust of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Oval Office…. In December, Mr. Obama’s team plans to hold the first of two war-gaming exercises to prepare Mr. Trump and his staff for a potential national security crisis. The second simulation for Mr. Trump is set for January, days before he officially gains access to the nuclear codes.”[NYTimes] • Obama meets his nemesis [Politico]
— “During Obama and Trump’s press availability, Kushner snapped photos with his iPhone.” [WashPost]
“Kushner takes a walk with McDonough, stoking chief of staff speculation: The private talk stokes speculation that Kushner could be in the running to be Trump’s chief of staff, after having served as his shadow campaign manager throughout the presidential race.” [Politico]
Bannon, Priebus top candidates for White House chief of staff” by Eric Beech: “Priebus is said to be viewed favorably by Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, the newspaper said.” [Reuters]
“Defense lawyer Mukasey on Trump’s short list to replace Bharara” by Kevin Dugan: “The 49-year-old is a favorite of Donald Trump’s, sources said. Mukasey previously served as the deputy chief appellate attorney for the Manhattan federal prosecutor. When reached for comment, Mukasey said he was flattered but had no plans to leave his current job.” [NYPost]
“Trump team warns Obama not to make major moves on foreign policy” by Nahal Toosi:“Obama and his aides shouldn’t go seeking new adventures or pushing through policies that clearly don’t match with Trump’s, he added. That includes efforts to bring peace to the Israelis and Palestinians — even if those initiatives are symbolic at best. Trump, for one, has made it very clear he will support Israel and its preferences… Obama administration officials will likely do everything they can to maintain the integrity of the Iran nuclear deal, but that is one area in which Trump can single-handedly undermine all of their efforts.” [Politico]
Trump to Israel Hayom: “I love and respect Israel and its citizens. Israel and America share so many of the same values, such as freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and the importance of creating opportunities for all citizens to pursue their dreams. I look forward to strengthening the unbreakable bond between our great nations. I know very well that Israel is the one true democracy and defender of human rights in the Middle East and a beacon of hope to countless people. I believe that my administration can play a significant role in helping the parties to achieve a just, lasting peace — which must be negotiated between the parties themselves, and not imposed on them by others. Israel and the Jewish people deserve no less.” [IsraelHayom]
“Israeli officials worried about President-elect Trump’s lack of ‘coherent’ Middle East policy” by Glenn Blain: “Trump doesn’t see the Middle East as a good investment and it’s reasonable to assume he will seek to reduce American involvement in the region… Trump’s declarations do not necessarily point to a coherent policy on this issue. On the one hand he has expressed support for the settlements and for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, but in other statements he said that he wants to remain neutral and that the two sides should reach a deal themselves.” [NYDailyNews; Haaretz] • How Trump Could Reshape the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict [ABC7]
“Danon: Trump will bring Israel enthusiasm to the White House” by Danielle Ziri: “He loves Israel, he likes the Prime Minister of Israel and he also talked a lot about his family connection, his personal connection to Israel,” Danon continued. “I think that he will bring this enthusiasm to the White House.” [JPost]
Aaron David Miller: “These two leaders’ personalities suggest it’s only a matter of time before Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu are annoying one another, or possibly worse.” [WSJ]
JI INTERVIEW with Norm Coleman, former Minnesota U.S. Senator from Minnesota, who refused to support his party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, for president. “Nobody saw it coming. It certainly shook the world with this victory,” Coleman told us in a phone interview.
On future of the U.S.-Israel relationship: “The folks in the Middle East have been counting down the days till Obama is gone. The personal relationship with the Prime Minister, negotiating with Iran without telling our allies, a sense of our allies, both in the Gulf States as well as Israel, that the president wasn’t there to have their back, that he was more focused on the Iran deal than on their needs, and just the deal itself – all that is coming to end. And it’s certainly not going to be a continuation of the Clinton policy, it’s going to be a different policy, and folks are looking forward to that.”
On Trump’s Israel policy: “I think what you will see with Trump is he’s somebody who says what he thinks in spite of what other people react to that, and therefore, I have no doubt that he will follow through on his promises. You know, through his son-in-law (Jared Kushner), he has some very close connections with the pro-Israel community, incredibly close ties. I think that, in the end, will bode well for those of us who are deeply concerned about the U.S.-Israel relationship and about the security in the region.”
On how the #NeverTrump wing will react to a President Trump: “I would hope that the beauty of American democracy is that when our leader is chosen, that we then try and find ways to work with that leader because it is in America’s interest. I will certainly do all in my power to work with the president and help him be successful because if he’s successful, America is going to be successful. That’s the way I have always operated… He’s in the driver’s seat, and he’s leading the parade.” [JewishInsider]
More of our conversation with former ADL Director Abe Foxman — On Trump’s policy on Israel: “For Israel, unpredictability is not good, and in the beginning he was unpredictable and that was a little scary. But as time went on and he filled out the Israel card with positions etc, I think there’s a greater comfort, except on the issue of a one-state solution. I think that’s something for Israel to decide, not an issue for a candidate for president or even the president. I don’t think most of us wanted Obama to tell Israel what to do. I don’t think we are going to want Donald Trump to tell Israel what to do. We want him to listen, to be an ally, a partner. I think that will happen. What you are seeing now, is it was political. A one-state solution in their platform, I am not sure served the best interest of Israel.”
On moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem: “Our failure was not to get the American government to move its embassy 50-60 years ago, and every year that went by, it became more difficult because there was a higher price to pay. My view is, I would do this thing gradually. I would open a residence in Jerusalem for the Ambassador. I would have an official office in both places. I would move it gradually because after 70 year of this horrific double standard, it may be too traumatic to do it immediately. That’s why all the promises from our good friends, in the past, when it came to a reality, it was too much of a risk of what the consequences may be, especially in such a radical Middle East as we live in today where any excuse could wind up in violence. I would move the process gradually rather than as a dramatic act. At this point, what’s important is the continued support of Israel.
On Obama taking action at the UN: “Seventy percent of the Jewish community still voted Democratic, so there’s a future that the Obamas and Bidens care about. We do have an impact in the future. I don’t see any success coming out of an Obama action. Maybe we have been overhyping this anxiety because I don’t see it being in the interest the Obama legacy, and for American diplomacy. I don’t see any success except to upset a lot of people – for what?” [JewishInsider]
TOP READS: “The View From Trump Tower” by David Brooks: “If your social circles are like mine, you spent Tuesday night swapping miserable texts. Not all, but many of my friends and family members were outraged, stunned, disgusted and devastated. This is victory for white supremacy, people wrote, for misogyny, nativism and authoritarianism. Fascism is descending. Those emotional reactions were a fitting first-night response to the greatest political shock of our lifetimes. Still, this is probably not the best mentality for the coming era.”
“Which is why I’ve been thinking we need a third party that is social/open. This compassionate globalist party would support the free trade and skilled immigration that fuel growth. But it would also flood the zone for those challenged in the high-skill global economy — offering programs to rebuild community, foster economic security and boost mobility. It would integrate the white working class and minority groups by emphasizing that we are all part of a single American idea. Trump’s bigotry, dishonesty and promise-breaking will have to be denounced. We can’t go morally numb. But he needs to be replaced with a program that addresses the problems that fueled his assent. After all, the guy will probably resign or be impeached within a year. The future is closer than you think.” [NYTimes]
“Dealing with Shock” by David Suissa: “Having Donald Trump as President of the United States may be the most shocking political news story of my adult life. I don’t care who you voted for. I don’t care if you’re far left or alt right, or if you’re Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or evangelical Christian, or if you’re Hispanic, Asian or Armenian. Shock is shock. And the notion of Donald Trump as the leader of the free world is worthy of shock.” [JewishJournal]
Graydon Carter on Trump’s “Only in America” Election Win: “Only in America could a man who offended Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, and African-Americans, as well as women, babies, and the handicapped, become the Republican nominee for president… Only in America could a man who kept a volume of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside rule over the second-largest Jewish population in the world… Do not tell me America is no longer a land of opportunity.” [VanityFair]
“Schumer, Sanders back Muslim lawmaker for top Democratic Party post” by Ron Kampeas: “Ellison, who has indicated he would be interested in the post but who has yet to declare, has been a sharp critic of Israel, but has also reached out to pro-Israel groups.” [JTA]
“DNC Staffer Screams At Donna Brazile For Helping Elect Donald Trump” by Jennifer Bendery: “Donna Brazile, the interim leader of the Democratic National Committee, was giving what one attendee described as “a rip-roaring speech” to about 150 employees, about the need to have hope for wins going forward, when a staffer identified only as Zach stood up with a question. “Why should we trust you as chair to lead us through this?” he asked, according to two people in the room. “You backed a flawed candidate, and your friend [former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz] plotted through this to support your own gain and yourself.”” [HuffPost]
“Jews Outperform Top Democratic Party’s Base” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Among Jewish voters, Clinton managed to maintain, but also slightly increase her share of the vote — 71 percent compared with 69 percent for Obama — while the number of Jewish voters supporting Donald Trump (24 percent) was significantly less than the 31 percent Mitt Romney received in 2012… “The election result is what it is,” Keyak said. “However, while underperformed among other top Democratic base constituencies when compared to President Obama’s reelection – including among African-Americans, Latinos, and union households – the strong Jewish vote was a thin ray of light for an otherwise dark night.””[JewishInsider]
“Lubavitch Crown Heights an Island For Trump Amid Sea of Clinton Supporters” by Rachel Holliday Smith: “A clear connection between the Republican candidate and the Lubavitch community — through his son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka, who visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s grave last weekend, and Rudy Giuliani, who is “loved” and trusted by the Hasidic community in the neighborhood, he said — helped, too. “People feel safe knowing that Trump’s immediate circle has roots in our community and friendships in our community,” [Yaacov] Behrman said.” [DNAInfo] • In Democratic Stronghold of New York City, Trump Finds Support Among Orthodox Jews [NYTimes]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “U.S. Synagogues Invite Grieving Jews to Sit Shiva Together After Trump Victory” by Debra Nussbaum Cohen: “Farther downtown, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum was planning a similar event at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, where she held one for staff in the afternoon. “People feel shock, fear, anxiety and grief. It really feels like we need to sit shiva this week,” she told Haaretz.” [Haaretz] • “Playground swastikas in Aspen make strong impression” [AspenTimes]
“This Is Good Facebook: Mother and Daughter Hikers Run Into Hillary Clinton in the Woods” by Madison Malone Kircher: “Gerster decided to take her daughter and dog for a walk in the woods in Chappaqua, New York, today. “I’ve been feeling so heartbroken since yesterday’s election and decided what better way to relax than take my girls hiking,” Gerster wrote. But instead of just finding some temporary peace in nature, Gerster wound up running into Hillary Clinton.” [NYMag]
SPOTLIGHT: “The Unexpected Management Genius of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg” by Adam Lashinsky: “The first time I interviewed Mark Zuckerberg, back in 2005, he was all of 21 years old and could have passed for 16. He had recently dropped out of Harvard to move his startup to Silicon Valley and was obviously enjoying the novelty of being called CEO… Zuckerberg is rightly recognized for his outsize success. Nevertheless, he is surprisingly underappreciated for his business acumen.”
“Yes, he has delegated the commercial aspects of Facebook to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s polished chief operating officer, a Harvard MBA who is 15 years Zuckerberg’s senior. Sandberg’s presence has fostered an “adult supervision” narrative familiar to the Valley. But unlike, say, the Google founders, who turned over the CEO job to Eric Schmidt for a decade, Zuckerberg has remained chief executive throughout Facebook’s 12-year sprint to greatness.” [Fortune] • Zuckerberg: The idea that fake news on Facebook influenced election result is “bogus” [FastCompany]
STARTUP NATION: “New Israeli machine to standardize diamond grading” by Audrey Horowitz: “Sarine Technologies Ltd. said its system, currently in advanced large-scale testing in India and expected to be marketed toward mid-2017, will revolutionize the global diamond industry by enhancing consumer trust in each diamond’s valuation. The system will simplify the clarity grading process and provide accurate and objective mapping of the polished diamond, said chief executive and executive director Uzi Levami. Roland Lorie, chief executive of the International Gemological Institute, a global diamond certification body, inspected the new machine on Thursday.” [AP]
“Meet Eric Greitens, Missouri’s First Jewish Governor” by Armin Rosen: “It’s not out of the question that Greitens could eventually add “first Jewish president” to an already impressive resume, especially given the success of a certain other ideologically flexible political newcomer.” [Tablet]
TALK OF OUR NATION — Four Organizations Merge to Lead Next Stage of Jewish Innovation: “UpStart, Bikkurim, and Joshua Venture Group are consolidating into a single organization – UpStart – to serve as the central resource for Jewish innovation. The newly envisioned UpStart will also include the current U.S.-based programs of PresenTense. The four organizations currently provide the Jewish community’s leading support services for innovators and organizations looking to tackle today’s Jewish challenges with new ways of thinking, and to create meaningful access points to Jewish life.” [eJewishPhil]
BROADWAY: “What It’s Like to Make It in Showbiz With Your Best Friend” by Michael Paulson: “They went viral before going viral was a thing — their undergraduate years coincided with the birth of Facebook, and the first song cycle Benj Pasek and Justin Paul wrote, called “Edges,” was discovered, shared and performed by musical theater majors around the country. Now, at the age of 31, after a decade of being touted as promising, up-and-coming, and ones-to-watch, Pasek and Paul have arrived. Their first original musical, “Dear Evan Hansen,” a daringly heart-wrenching show that explores the charged interplay between collective grief and social media after a misconstrued high school suicide, begins previews Monday, Nov. 14 and is generating prize chatter even before it opens on Broadway Dec. 4.” [NYTimes]
SCENE THE OTHER NIGHT: “Natalie Portman Honored at Emotional Night for the Israel Film Festival Gala” by Alex Cramer: “Over 500 guests, including dozens of actors and filmmakers, came together Wednesday night in the grand ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for a gala awards dinner to celebrate the 30th Annual Israeli Film Festival. A somber Portman, following Donald Trump’s presidential election win the night before, dedicated most of her speech to the topic and told the crowd, “Let us look into each other’s hearts, express our own and use our curiosity against future simplification and fanaticism.”” [HollywoodReporter]
WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Former US Ambassador to the Czech Republic (2011-2014), now a Visiting Fellow at Brookings Institution, Norm Eisen turns 56… Attorney in Los Angeles, Gerald Neiter turns 83… Democratic US Senator from California since 1993, Barbara Boxer turns 76… Author and Senior Fellow at USC’s Annenberg School, Morley Winograd turns 74 (h/t Playbook)… Television personality (host of Double Dare), comedian and talk show host, Marc Summers (born Marc Berkowitz) turns 65… President at American Built-in Closets in South Florida, Perry Birman turns 59… Talk show host Zev Brenner turns 58… Russian born billionaire, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and physicist, Yuri Milner turns 55… Emmy Award and People’s Choice Award winning television producer, Max Mutchnick turns 51… Shula Kantor…
Professor of History at Columbia University and expert on Japan, Carol Gluck turns 75… Sportscaster for NBC since 2006, after 29 years at ABC, Al Michaels turns 72… Author of young-adult fiction and winner of the National Book Award for “Challenger Deep,” Neal Shusterman turns 54… Author, journalist and former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton, Naomi Wolf turns 54… Director of President Obama’s National Economic Council after a stint as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients turns 50… Israeli fashion model and actress, Nina Brosh turns 41… Matthew Berkman turns 32… Bernard Wachsman… Dave Weinberg…
Israeli businessman Nochi Dankner turns 62… Harold Waldenberg turns 96… Philosopher and professor at CUNY since 2002, formerly professor at Princeton University (1977-2002), Saul Kripketurns 76… AIPAC national lay leader Kevin Pailet… Communications Director at Christians United For Israel, Ari Morgenstern… Somali-born activist who has servd in the Dutch parliament and as a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, Ayaan Hirsi Ali turns 47…