Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Front pages focus on Jerusalem, Gaza | Spotted in DC & Jerusalem | How Dan Loeb helps fund his critics | Next JFNA Chair: Mark Wilf

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DRIVING THE DAY — Newspaper Front Pages 

“Death in Gaza, New Embassy in Jerusalem, and Peace as Distant as Ever” by David M. Halbfinger: “The two scenes, only an hour’s drive apart, illustrated the chasm dividing Israelis and Palestinians more than at any moment in recent history… With evangelical pastors preaching and Sheldon G. Adelson, the influential Jewish Republican donor who had pressed Mr. Trump to move the embassy, in the front row, the only reference to the Gaza violence came when Mr. Kushner said that “those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.”” [NYTimes]

“Toll for Gaza protests rises to 61, with more protests expected” by Loveday Morris and Ruth Eglash: Monday’s protests drew a level of bloodshed not seen in Gaza since a 2014 war with Israel and more could be ahead as residents bury the dead and prepare to mark the anniversary of Israel’s founding, known to Palestinians as the “Nakba,” or “Catastrophe.” Israeli officials, however, justified the military’s tactics as necessary to stop the Palestinians from breaking into Israel.” [WashPost]

“Palestinians in Gaza Are Dying for a Photo-Op” by Liel Liebovitz:“But Hamas won anyway, by giving the Western media the opportunity to juxtapose pictures of Donald Trump and his family with pictures of dead Palestinians. In exchange for those precious images, the media was more than happy to erase the facts that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, that the attacks on Israel’s borders have been going on for weeks, or that Hamas is an evil, anti-Semitic, misogynist, homophobic, theocratic cult. The chance to bash Trump and demonize Israel was worth whitewashing any number of crimes.” [TabletMag]

“The paper that portrayed rejoicing in Israel” by David Beard: “On Tuesday, while The New York Times and The Washington Post focused on the Gaza killings, Adelson’s Las Vegas paper kept the focus on the positive. “Netanyahu thanks U.S. as new embassy opens,” was the headline — with a celebratory photo — of a story written by the regional paper’s Washington correspondent, flown to Israel for the event.” [Poynter]

US blocks call for independent Gaza inquiry at UN: “The United States on Monday blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe of deadly violence on the Israel-Gaza border, according to diplomats… “The Security Council expresses its outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian civilians exercising their right to peaceful protest,” read a draft of the statement, a copy of which was seen by AFP. “The Security Council calls for an independent and transparent investigation into these actions to ensure accountability,” read the text.” [France24] • White House Blames Deadly Gaza Violence On Hamas ‘Propaganda’ [HuffPost]

Sen. Time Kaine (D-VA) tells Reuters“It’s not viewed as the U.S. trying to solve a problem, it’s viewed as the U.S. just stepping away from the problem, and that’s sad.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweets“Over 50 killed in Gaza today and 2,000 wounded, on top of the 41 killed and more than 9,000 wounded over the past weeks. This is a staggering toll. Hamas violence does not justify Israel firing on unarmed protesters.”

THE JERUSALEM EMBASSY CELEBRATION — by Jacob Kornbluh: “We welcome you officially, and for the first time, to the embassy of the United States here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” a beaming Ivanka Trump declared as she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin unveiled the official plaque at the new embassy. “When President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it,” Jared Kushner stated in his remarks.

“What a glorious day. Remember this moment,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his remarks, adding that the new location brings back “wonderful memories from my childhood” growing up in the nearby Jerusalem neighborhood. Netanyahu also turned to Ambassador David Friedman and remarked: “Today, you have a special privilege. You are privileged to become the first American ambassador to serve your country in Jerusalem, and this is a distinct honor that will be yours forever. Nobody can be first again.”

Amb. Friedman tweets today: “The United States Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel is now open, Thank God. I am so honored to have executed the direction and vision of our great President. Like the Ten Commandments, the words on the Embassy are written in stone!”

SCENE — “When he was not speaking, Kushner sidled up next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was beaming during much of the event marking the embassy’s opening.” [CNN] • “Some 800 people cheered when Trump’s name was uttered and for some the event appeared to be an ecstatic moment, their hour come round at last.” [DailyBeast]

Kushner on the ‘Ultimate Deal’ — “While the challenges to peace are numerous, I have personally seen that the determination of the leaders in the region and throughout the world remains steadfast. They have seen too much pain, sorrow, and wasted opportunity, and they think it’s time to try something better… I believe peace is within reach if we dare to believe the future can be different from the past. That we are not condemned to relive history, and that the way things were is not how they must forever be… When there is peace in this region, we will look back upon this day and remember that the journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth.” [Video]

SNAPS — Miriam Adelson wore a white dress with edges flanked by two Jerusalem lions and a passage from Psalms [Pic] • AIPAC’s Mort Fridman and Lillian Pinkus with Yair Lapid [Pic] • ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt posted a selfie with a Jerusalem Embassy cap [Pic] • Mike Huckabee exiting the ceremony briskly [Pic] • Natan Sharansky in conversation with attorney Nathan Lewin [Pic] • Deputy Minister Ya’akov Litzman and Minister Yuval Shteinitz [Pic] • RJC National Chairman Norm Coleman with Ralph Reed, Chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition [Pic] • Labour leader Avi Gabbay greets Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen with a hug [Pic] • IAC’s Shawn Evenhaim [Pic] • View of the crowd [Pic]

SPOTTED AT THE WHITE HOUSE — Vice President Mike Pence huddling with Tom Rose and Gary Bauer outside the West Wing following a watch party of the Jerusalem Embassy Celebration at the White House [Pic] • The crowd at the South Court Auditorium rose to their feet several times, including during Kushner’s remarks on the Iran deal [Pic]

HOW IT PLAYED — “Jared Kushner returns to spotlight in Israel” by Hunter Walker: “With his speech in Jerusalem, Kushner showed he is still the face of America’s Middle East policy. And a White House source confirmed to Yahoo News that Trump specifically requested that Kushner give the address. “He’s been working on this speech for four weeks,” the source said of Kushner. “The president personally asked Jared to deliver this message.” [YahooNews]

REACTION FROM MIDDLE EAST EXPERTS — Aaron David Miller: “Kushner’s remarks reflect the fact that the administration hasn’t given up. He told me at one point, ‘My father-in-law wants a peace plan.’ And I suspect some time in weeks or months ahead they will put one out.”

Martin Indyk: “I did not see any new vision in Trump’s message or Kushner’s comments. While they struck a more conciliatory tone towards the Palestinians and did not address the total disconnect between Washington and Ramallah, in my opinion, they did not introduce any new concepts. It is very hard to see how U.S. turns this decision into a viable peace process. Perhaps, the regional dimension he highlighted, while not new, point to the direction this administration will go in to push its future peace plan.”

Ilan Goldenberg: “My view is that this is totally empty rhetoric. Listening to his dreamy language about peace while watching a split screen TV that had images coming out of Gaza is all you needed to see to realize how absurd it was. The Palestinians will not respond positively to anything the administration puts down so what’s the point? Most likely there will be no plan, but if there is one it will be dead on arrival.”

Orthodox Union’s Allen Fagin: “Jerusalem is an enormously important issue for us… Every study that you look at will tell you that the relationship between Orthodox Jews and Israel – their political support for Israel and emotional attachment to Israel – is an order of magnitude different than the rest of the Jewish community, taken as a whole. There’s no family in the Orthodox community that you can find that doesn’t have relatives who are living in Israel or studying in Israel; no one visits Israel more than the Orthodox community, and no one invests in Israel in a greater degree than the Orthodox community. So it follows naturally that any administration that has shown friendship toward Israel and its government is going to find great support within the Orthodox community.”

SPOTTED LAST NIGHT — at a reception hosted by Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and the Republican Jewish Coalition at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem: Ambassador David Friedman, Joe Lieberman, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Jason Greenblatt, Alan Dershowitz, Reps. Lee Zeldin, Tom Rice, Steve Knight, Jody Hice, Scott Taylor, George Holding, Dennis Ross, Mario Diaz Balart, Joe Wilson and Ron DeSantis; Sens. Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz; Gov. Rick Scott, Mike Huckabee, Richard Kemp, Michael Oren, Danny Ayalon, Israeli ministers Naftali Bennet, Haim Katz, Ze’ev Elkin and Yuval Steinitz; Gregg Roman, Matt Brooks, Norm Coleman, Josh Block, MK Oded Forer, Mark Levin, Ralph Reed, Jay Sekulow, George Klein, Phyllis and Richard Heideman, Eliot Lauer, Brad Wine, Martin Selig, Hart Hasten, Norman Freidkin, and Alex Siegel.

HEARD LAST NIGHT — Vice President Mike Pence at the annual Israel Independence Day reception hosted by Ambassador Ron Dermer in Washington, DC: “From King David’s time to our own, President Trump has now etched his name into the ineffaceable story of Jerusalem… And to Jared [Kushner], who’s on his way home as we speak after an unforgettable day, let me just say: Jared, your moving remarks this morning will stand forever as a testament, not just to our country and the Jewish people, but to you and your family… And on behalf of the President and all the American people, on this big day for Israel, we say, Mazel Tov.” [Video]

In the run-up to the celebration, the Israeli Embassy honored 70 individuals, groups and the American people for their support of the state of Israel. Vice President Pence accepted the award designated for President Trump. According to Ambassador Dermer, Trump himself was hoping to attend last night’s event but did not due to First Lady Melania Trump’s planned medical procedure. Several other honorees were in attendance including Bob Kraft, Haim Saban, Michael Steinhardt, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Roger Hertog. Pence addressed a small gathering of the honorees and their families before the main event [PicPic]

Among the 800+ attendees at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium…Abe Foxman, Ann Lewis, Howard Kohr, Malcolm Hoenlein, Ethan Bronner, Sam & Danielle Feist, Alan Gross, Tom Rose, Alex Friedman, Consul Gen. Dani Dayan, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt, Russell Robinson, Tevi Troy, Jordana Cutler, Sandy Cardin, Amitai Raziel, Natan Sachs, Amir Tibon, Matt Nosanchuk, Leon Wieseltier, Elin Suleymanov, Lala Suleymanov, Boris Epshteyn, Lauren Tanick, Cary Summers, Rivka Kidron, Nathan Guttman, Michael Wilner, Josh Lederman, Joshua Runyan, Aaron Keyak, Steve Rabinowitz, Heidi and William Daroff, David Golder, Nathan Diament, Ezra Friedlander, Isaac Pretter, Clara Scheinmann, Yael Mizrahi-Arnaud.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on CNN International with Christiane Amanpour: “I think that the American decision has been long overdue and in this respect, I think there is a good reason for Israel to be happy that our capital was finally — formally recognized by the United States and hopefully will be recognized by many others. We should remember, obviously, that the President said that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined in future negotiations between us and the Palestinians and I am certainly anxious that these negotiations will start immediately. I heard that President Trump has a peace plan that he’s going to propose and that is very important because if President Trump believes that there is a chance for peace, then there are two now, he and, if I can say, myself.”

Yossi Klein Halevi writes… “The Real Dispute Driving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: In conversations over the years with many Palestinians and Arabs, I’ve been told some version of: ‘We have nothing against Jews as a religious minority. You lived in Arab lands for centuries. But we cannot accept your redefinition of yourselves as a people, let alone a sovereign nation.’ That rejection of Israel’s legitimacy ignores that many Jews have always defined themselves as a people with a religious identity, nurtured by the hope of one day restoring their sovereignty in their lost homeland… I know Palestinians who reject that assault on the Jewish narrative and are prepared to accept the indigenousness of the Jewish people in the land we share. But voices affirming the legitimacy of the Jewish story are excluded from the official Palestinian discourse.” [TheAtlantic]

IRAN DEAL — “Friends without benefits: how Europe was wrongfooted by Trump over Iran” by Julian Borger: “Even [John] Bolton… was taken by surprise by Trump’s last Monday that he would announce his decision on the JCPOA the following day. He was informed by an European official who saw the tweet while they were having a phone conversation, in which Bolton was supposed to be the one imparting information about US plans… US officials have told their counterparts that… there would be no exemptions for European companies in the coming wave of sanctions against anyone who continues to do business with Iran. “We have received no guarantees … that European business will get any exemptions,” a European official said.” [TheGuardian

2020 WATCH — Report: White House Sources: Nikki Haley Is Trying To Get Fired — “Multiple sources at the White House tell us the former South Carolina governor is “actively trying to get fired” from her current job with Trump – a move that would make her a martyr for neoconservatives… and would enable her to jumpstart her 2020 presidential candidacy… We’re also told Haley “fully expected” to lose her job over the Russian intrigue – the latest flare-up between her and the administration. “She doesn’t care if she gets fired,” the source added. “She is actively trying to get fired.” [FitsNews]

Michael Koplow tweets: “When Nikki Haley runs for president, she will be the first Republican to approach 50% of the Jewish vote. Her popularity even among committed Democrats is remarkable.”

2018 WATCH — “Top GOP donors close wallets over tax law” by Rebecca Berg: “Some of the Republican Party’s powerhouse donors… feel deeply stung by the [tax] law and have made their displeasure known to party leaders by keeping their wallets shut… The donors who have boycotted, all of whom are leaders of prominent hedge funds, include Paul Singer, of Elliott Management; Citadel’s Ken Griffin; Warren Stephens of Stephens Inc.; Cliff Asness of AQR; Bruce Kovner, formerly of Caxton; and Third Point’s Daniel Loeb. Combined, their donations accounted for more than $50 million to Republican groups during the 2016 election cycle; Singer ranked among the top 10 donors of either party, while Griffin and Stephens ranked in the top 20.” [CNN

** Good Tuesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: CBS Sues Shari Redstone and National Amusements in Bid to Block Viacom Merger [Variety• Dropbox eyes security, machine learning technologies in Israel [Reuters] • George Soros Gets Most of His $2 Billion Back From Bessent [Bloomberg• US sanctions against Dan Gertler could upend the cobalt market [FinancialTimes] • Lerer Hippeau raises a new $122M fund, plus $60M for follow-on investments [TechCrunch]

“Hedge Funds’ Favorite Charity Is Funding Their Opponents” by Rob Copeland: “The 250-person protest group that showed up outside billionaire Daniel Loeb’s Hamptons estate arrived in chartered buses, carried professionally printed signs and marched under two airplanes with banners. Several signs read: “Hedge funds = inequality.” Mr. Loeb, in a roundabout way, inadvertently backed certain organizations that supported that July 2015 demonstration, and continue to savage hedge funds to this day. For years, Mr. Loeb and other hedge-fund managers have sent millions of dollars to groups participating in anti-hedge-fund activist campaigns such as the Hedge Clippers and Strong Economy For All. They have done so via a series of transactions involving the Robin Hood Foundation…” [WSJ]

“Philanthropist David Rubenstein reflects on the power of giving money away” by Joe Heim: You are unimaginably wealthy. Do you face any hardship? “I don’t think if you have the kind of financial situation that I do that I can credibly say I have hardships, because people will laugh or people will throw brickbats. But everybody has problems. So the wealthiest person in the world, Jeff Bezos, your owner, I’m sure he has challenges and problems as well. Many people that I know who are in the Forbes 400 are tortured souls. Most of the people that I know who have accumulated a lot of things but haven’t given away things are not that happy. The people that have given away their time, their energy, their ideas and their money are much happier.”

When did your parents realize or acknowledge your success? “Probably when I hit 65… When we would take a company public or we would sell something and make a lot of profit, [my mother] would never call and say, “Congratulations, you made a lot of profit.” But when I started giving away money, she would call me and say, “David, you’re doing something useful with your money. I’m really proud of you.” If your mother calls you, particularly if she’s Jewish, and tells you you’re doing something useful, then you know you lived a life that’s worth living.” [WashPostMag]

“The ‘Black Hole’ That Sucks Up Silicon Valley’s Money” by Alana Semuels: “Because donor-advised funds are still categorized as public charities, they have no payout requirement and few disclosure requirements. And because they’re categorized as public charities, donors can give a higher share of their income to these funds than they could to a private foundation, which can help them avoid taxes. And wealthy residents of Silicon Valley are donating large sums to such funds. Last year, the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund received $114 million from Jan Koum, the co-founder of WhatsApp…”

“Mindy Berkowitz, the executive director of Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, told me that she met with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation a decade ago to find out more about how to try and attract money from donor-advised funds. The foundation now gives her organization some grants, but they don’t come from the donor-advised funds, she told me. “I haven’t really cracked the code of how to access those donor-advised funds,” she said. Her organization had been getting between $50,000 and $100,000 a year from United Way that it no longer gets, she said, yet it deals with more and more demand for services—with extra money, she would want to give out housing stipends or dedicate a staff member to helping people find affordable housing, or bring an attorney on board to run the group’s pro bono legal clinic.” [TheAtlantic

“Betsy DeVos to visit Orthodox school in NYC” by Bob Frederick: “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will appear at the Manhattan High School for Girls on Tuesday — the first Orthodox school that she will visit since taking office. A delegation from Agudath Israel met with DeVos in Washington in March 2017 and extended the invitation, Yeshiva World reported. The school, at 154 East 70th St., offers a college prep program.” [NYPost

MEDIA WATCH — “It’s A Good Time To Be A Reporter Covering Trump If You Like Money And Going On TV” by Steven Perlberg: “Reporters’ windfall has stemmed, in part, from a shift in strategy by CNN President Jeff Zucker and NBC News chair Andy Lack, two old-school executives leading the major networks that supplement reporters’ income… Dinged by critics for featuring roundtables of talking heads, Zucker and Lack have been on a buying spree to sign reporters who break news to paid contributor contracts.” [BuzzFeed

TRANSITIONS — Minnesota Vikings owner Mark Wilf to be named chair of Jewish Federations of North America: “Mark Wilf, a real estate developer and owner of the Minnesota Vikings football team, is expected to be named the incoming chair of the Jewish Federations of North America… Jodi Schwartz of New York is expected to be named vice chair, and Harold Gernsbacher of Dallas is expected to be named treasurer… The nominations will be brought to the JFNA Board of Trustees at its annual meeting at the organizations General Assembly, which will be held this year in Tel Aviv from October 22 to 24.” [JTA]

Sander Gerber is joining the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) as a Distinguished Fellow of the Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy.

BIRTHDAYS: Canadian molecular biologist and pioneer in human genetics, Louis Siminovitch turns 98… Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, she was the first woman to serve as US Secretary of State (1997-2001), Madeleine Albright turns 81… Principal of Queens-based Muss Development, a major real estate development company founded by his grandfather Isaac in 1906, Joshua Lawrence Muss turns 77… Chairman emeritus of The Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States, a human rights organization in NYC, Rachel Oestreicher Bernheim turns 75… Retired major general in the IDF, he served as Israel’s National Security Advisor and is now a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Yaakov Amidror turns 70… CEO of Emigrant Bank, real estate developer, financier and philanthropist, he has co-chaired the annual campaign for the UJA/Federation of New York, Howard Philip Milstein turns 67… Stuart Wax turns 61… President of the Orthodox Union since January 2017, senior partner and chairman of the bankruptcy department at Ropes & Gray, co-founding editor of Klal Perspectives, Mark Irwin (Moishe) Bane turns 59… Five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, producer, film maker and Latin media marketing entrepreneur, Giselle Fernandez turns 57… Actor David Krumholtz turns 40… Noam Finger turns 40… Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler turns 37… Rochelle Wilner… Ofir Richman

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