PREVIEWING TONIGHT’S DEBATE — Tonight’s Democratic presidential debate — taking place in Detroit, Michigan and aired live on CNN at 8 PM EST — will feature progressive stalwarts Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on center stage. But the two most prominent candidates in night one of the debates are not expected to throw punches at each other. Instead, longshot moderates like John Delaney and John Hickenlooper are likely to throw jabs at them from the center-left.
The debate stage will also feature South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who are looking to occupy a similar lane as relatively non-ideological left-of-center candidates trying to bear the standard of generational change.
The debate also will be the national debut of Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who did not qualify for the first round of debates in June. Bullock is hoping to tout his credentials as a Democrat who consistently won elections in a red state. Sen. Amy Klobuchar will be hoping to strike similar notes as a Democrat who has been successful in the purple state of Minnesota.
Author Marianne Williamson — who became a viral sensation after her first debate appearance — will have to continue to build her profile, and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, whose campaign posted tepid fundraising numbers, needs a viral moment to have any hope of staying in the next round of debates in the fall, when the threshold to participate will be much higher.
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel writes in a memo to the 2020 candidates: “Democrats and independent voters both believe that President Trump is the ringleader of the three-ring circus we call Washington, and we are all exhausted. We know that the country’s future is at risk. What we’re looking for is a candidate of character, competence, and capacity — someone with the vision and fortitude to be President of the United States. To prevail in the primary, you need to demonstrate you’re that candidate.”
A new Quinnipiac poll released on Monday shows Joe Biden — who is slated to participate in Wednesday night’s debate — leading the pack with 34 percent, slightly rebounding from the hit he took after his first debate experience. Warren is in second place with 15 percent, followed by Kamala Harris with 12, Sanders at 11, and Buttigieg at 6.
THE AGE ISSUE — New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Katie Glueck report: “Why Joe Biden’s age worries some Democratic allies and voters: Interviews recently with more than 50 Democratic voters and party officials across four states, as well as with political strategists and some of Mr. Biden’s own donors, revealed significant unease about Mr. Biden’s ability to be a reliably crisp and effective messenger against Mr. Trump… many of those interviewed were most concerned about his agility, and linked it to the sensitive subject of Mr. Biden’s age.” [NYTimes]
2020 BRIEFS — The Buttigieg campaign announced on Monday the hiring of Michael Halle — a close advisor to former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe — as a senior strategist… How Warren managed to appeal to a variety of Democrats while avoiding the many traps other candidates have fallen into… Cory Booker has already reached the donor threshold to participate in the third debate coming up in the fall, his campaign announced on Monday.
The campaign of Andrew Yang announced that he has qualified for the third and fourth debates… How Kamala Harris’ courtroom experience prepared her for the debate stage… CNN’s Jeff Zucker once feted Harris. Will that help or hurt in 2020?… The peculiar, surprisingly effective campaign of Joe Sestak
2020 WATCH — Republican hopes of regaining their majority in the House of Representatives in next year’s elections seem to be on hold, judging from the recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. According to The Associated Press, each of the 62 freshmen House Democrats, including the 39 Democrats who flipped GOP-held districts, have raised more money than their top Republican opponents. The same goes for the 31 incumbents from districts President Donald Trump won in 2016.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), a two-term moderate Democrat, is expected to face a primary challenge from a more progressive candidate next year. Arati Kreibich, a councilwoman from Glen Rock, New Jersey and a supporter of Medicare for All and the New Green Deal, announced her campaign on Monday. In a campaign video published online, Kreibich claims the congressman she supported for re-election in 2018 has left her “disheartened.” Gottheimer’s spokesperson, Andrew Edelson, said in a statement, “Josh is proud of his record and his focus continues to be on getting things done to improve the lives of families in the district and the state.”
Also on Monday, Gottheimer’s office claimed that the New Jersey lawmaker was the target of a political smear campaign in which a fake resignation letter was distributed to local officials and the press. The U.S. Capitol Police is investigating the matter.
PROFILE — Is Elaine Luria the Democratic Party’s next great Jewish hope? — by Sean Cooper: “In the current moment of anxiety and uncertainty for American Jews, and in the absence of a strong, national Jewish figure willing or capable to lead the effort, Luria — who didn’t highlight her Jewishness during her campaign — has moved to the forefront of the fight against antisemitism within her party and the larger political sphere.” [Tablet]
DRIVING THE CONVO — Doug Rossinow, professor of history at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota, writes… “Will divisions over Israel fracture the Democratic Party? Today’s trends may spell the eventual demise of Democratic support for Israel. But eventual does not mean imminent. In the past five presidential elections, American Jews have given the Democrat, on average, 74 percent of their votes. In light of this strong Jewish support, the Democrats are not likely to get tough on Israel anytime soon, and the party’s leaders probably calculate that Jewish liberals, who may be relatively alienated from Israel, can be taken for granted in 2020.” [WashPost]
Peter Beinart writes… “The real reason so many Republicans love Israel? Their own white supremacy: By calling America a ‘Judeo-Christian’ nation, conservatives offer Jews full inclusion in a national identity that excludes Muslims. It’s an offer some Jews are eager to accept… Republican attacks on [Rep. Ilhan] Omar and her colleagues as anti-Israel and antisemitic aren’t ultimately about Israel or Jews. They’re an effort to use Israel and Jews to further the central goal of the Trump-era right: Maintaining white Christian dominance in the face of demographic change. Rejecting that project may spawn more white nationalist antisemitism.” [Forward]
ON THE HILL — On Monday, the Senate failed to override President Donald Trump’s vetoes of measures aimed at blocking U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. While several Republican senators joined the Democrats in voting to override the vetoes, the three resolutions fell way shortof the two-thirds majority needed.
ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II met on Monday to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and reaffirmed their support for a two-state solution, Sisi’s office said in a statement.
The meeting in Cairo comes ahead of Jared Kushner’s trip to the region, which is beginning today. The delegation — Kushner, Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, special envoy for Iran Brian Hook, and White House assistant Avi Berkowitz — is expected to visit Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Qatar to “finalize the economic portion” of the Trump peace plan. Vanity Fair reported on Monday that Kushner will meet with Mohammed bin Salman, “the Saudi crown prince who the CIA concluded ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.”
REPORT — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking the approval of his cabinet ministers for a project that would expand Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank, Israel’s Kan News reported on Monday.
The United Arab Emirates has offered to host the next regional summit to discuss the Trump peace plan, Al-Khaleej Online reported on Sunday. According to the report, the UAE is ready to take the lead in inviting participants from the Arab world, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
TALK OF THE REGION ― Dubai ruler and wife take royal row to London court — by Andrew England and Jane Croft: “A high-profile royal dispute that pits the billionaire ruler of Dubai against his wife, a Jordanian princess, is set to resume in a British court this week. A preliminary hearing in the family division of London’s High Court will start on Tuesday and comes after Princess Haya, a half-sister of King Abdullah of Jordan, apparently left Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and moved to the UK… The legal dispute could be awkward for Jordan’s King Abdullah, whose government relies on financial support from the UAE and its ally, Saudi Arabia, as it grapples with a lacklustre economy and rising social pressures.” [FinancialTimes]
HEARD YESTERDAY — During a conversation with David Rubenstein at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to say whether or not the Trump administration will include the term “two-state solution” in its peace plan.
Rubenstein:Is our position, the United States government position, that we prefer a one-state solution or a two-state solution?
Pompeo: “You’ll see our plan shortly.”
Rubenstein: Okay. Will you give us a hint?
Pompeo: “No… We prefer what the Palestinians and the Israelis agree to, and what the nature of that relationship will look like.” [JewishInsider]
Zev Chafets writes… “Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ is getting even better for Israel: [Jason] Greenblatt’s rebuke to the Security Council, along with [Ambassador David] Friedman’s June musings on the validity of Israeli territorial claims in the West Bank, are the two dropping shoes of the still unpublished but soon to arrive Trump peace plan, which is being overseen by Jared Kushner… The U.S. will not even pretend to be a neutral broker. It is Israel’s ally, and supports it on almost every issue. That doesn’t mean the Palestinian side will get nothing. But it does mean that after decades of friendly UN resolutions and international declarations of solidarity, the Palestinian negotiators will start again at zero and make their case.” [Bloomberg]
PIC OF THE DAY — Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger joined Pompeo in cutting a ceremonial cake at an event marking the 230th anniversary of the founding the State Department. [Pic]
TALK OF THE NATION — Officials at UN agency for Palestinians face ethical abuse claims — by Oliver Holmes: “Senior figures at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees have been accused of serious ethical abuses, including nepotism, according to an internal review. ‘Credible and corroborated’ allegations were made last year in a confidential internal ethics report by and about the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), according to the Agence France-Presse news agency, which obtained the document. The review included accusations against management of ‘nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives.’” [TheGuardian]
U.S. Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted: “We’re extremely concerned abt UNRWA allegations. We urge a full & transparent investigation by the UN. UNRWA’s model is broken/unsustainable & based on an endless expanding # of beneficiaries. Palestinians residing in refugee camps deserve much better.”
ON THE GROUND — Israeli jets reportedly struck Iranian targets twice in ten days. According to a report by Asharq Al-Awsat, a London-based Arabic newspaper, an Israeli F-35 plane was behind a July 19 strike on a rocket depot in a Shiite militia base north of Baghdad. The second strike took place on Sunday at Camp Ashraf, the former headquarters of the exiled People’s Mujahedin of Iran.
FREE MAN — President Trump on Monday commuted the prison sentence of Ronen Nahmani, an Israeli-born Florida man who was serving a 20-year sentence after a 2015 conviction for selling synthetic cannabinoids imported from Hong Kong and China. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) led the effort for the commutation, which was supported by a bipartisan group of 10 House members, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rand Paul (R-KY), and former Attorneys General Edwin Meese and Michael Mukasey.
“Mr. Nahmani is a non-violent, first-time offender with no criminal history. He has five young children at home and his wife is suffering from terminal cancer. These extenuating circumstances underscore the urgency of his request for clemency,” the White House said in a statement.
ROAD TO THE KNESSET — Habayit Hayehudi and the New Right finalized their merger deal on Monday, agreeing to run together in a technical bloc in the September 17 election. The electoral list will be led by former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, followed by Education Minister Rafi Peretz, then Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich in third and former minister Naftali Bennett in the fourth spot. After drawn-out negotiations, the parties agreed that they would guarantee backing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in coalition agreements, and would negotiate entry into the government as a bloc.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu is reportedly pushing to arrange a visit to Israel by Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the September 17 election. Channel 12 News reported on Monday that the Jerusalem Municipality has fast-tracked the creation of a memorial in the capital to those who died in the Nazi siege of Leningrad, in order to give Putin a reason to visit before the snap vote.
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Teva to pay California $69 million over deals to keep generic medications off the market [LATimes] • Leon Cooperman: a wealth tax will not solve U.S. inequality [FinancialTimes] • Milstein Properties is in advanced talks for a $750 million loan at 335 Madison Avenue [RealDeal] • Leslie Wexner’s Victoria’s Secret has more than a Jeffrey Epstein problem[Bloomberg] • Galbut family sells Ocean Drive hotel for $28 million [RealDeal]
MORE BRIEFS: Bruce Wasserstein heirs battle with dad’s love child over $2.3 billion Hamptons estate [NYPost] • Barclays appoints Ilan Paz as new Israel manager [JPost] • Qualcomm Ventures Israel to oversee Qualcomm’s European investments [Calcalist] • BlackRock funds raise Israeli ire [Haaretz] • Leviathan partners considering LNG facility offshore Israel[Reuters]
SPOTLIGHT — How ‘Developer’ Became Such a Dirty Word — by Emily Badger: “The notion that development is inherently bad, or that developers are inherently bad actors, seems to ignore that the communities residents want to protect from developers were once developed, too, and often by people who made money at it. (That is, unless you believe in ‘immaculate construction.’).” [NYTimes]
TOP-OP — Veteran broadcaster Ted Koppel writes in The Washington Post: “My father was wrong about Nazi Germany. I am right about America: The United States is not running concentration camps on its border with Mexico. But the language marking our increasingly heated national dialogue, the facile analogies to fascism and Nazi Germany — those persist; indeed, multiply. They are, I am convinced, rash and overheated… Still, I cannot help but wonder how long my father, who served four years in the German army more than 100 years ago, during World War I, sustained and nurtured his confidence in the fundamental decency of his fellow Germans.”
“The threats to our democracy are not imagined, they are real. But there is a fundamental decency to the vast majority of Americans; an acknowledgment that our differences are a source of strength… We remain a long way from concentration camps. But the sentiment attributed to Edmund Burke is right. ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’” [WashPost]
SCENE IN ISRAEL — After more than 45,000 people turned out for his concert in Tel Aviv last week, Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Hurley, were both on hand in Israel over the weekend to celebrate the birthday of Charlotte Jones Anderson, the executive vice president of the Dallas Cowboys. Also spotted at the celebration in the Holy Land were NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie and her husband, Democratic strategist Mike Feldman, as well as New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his wife, Tammy. [Pic]
TALK OF THE TOWN — Elections Canada recommends keeping Oct. 21 election date — by Catharine Tunney: “Canada’s chief electoral officer says it wouldn’t be ‘advisable’ to change the federal election date, despite the fact that Oct. 21 coincides with a Jewish holiday… Last week, the Federal Court ordered [chief electoral officer Stéphane] Perrault to review his decision to not recommend a change in the scheduled date. Perrault said he had to balance the ability of observant Jews to vote with ensuring accessible voting opportunities for all Canadians. ‘There is no such thing as a perfect election day, especially in a country as diverse as Canada. There are always Canadians who are unable to vote on election day,’ he wrote in his decision, released Monday.” [CBCNews]
Canadian Federal Court orders ‘Product of Israel’ labels off of West Bank wines: “Labelling a wine from the West Bank as a ‘Product of Israel’ is misleading and deceptive, a Federal Court judge declared Monday… The decision — the latest twist in a three-year-old dispute over whether bottles from the Psagot Winery and Shiloh Winery in the West Bank can be characterized as coming from Israel — means the Canada Food Inspection Agency must decide anew how the wines should be labelled. The agency initially stripped the wines of the label in July 2017 after a formal complaint, but then reversed course shortly afterwards following an outcry from some Jewish groups.”[HamiltonSpectator]
Google Doodle celebrates diplomat who helped Jews flee Europe during WWII — by Sean Keane: “Monday’s Google Doodle paid tribute to a Japanese diplomat who sacrificed his career to help Jews escape Lithuania during World War II. Chiune Sugihara was stationed in the Eastern European country as Jewish families sought passage via Japan to Curacao, a Dutch island in the Caribbean in 1939. He requested permission from his superiors in Tokyo, who told him ‘absolutely not.’ In an act of defiance on July 29, 1939, Sugihara started working night and day to hand write at least 6,000 visas allowing people to travel through Japan to other destinations, with some families going on a single visa.” [CNet]
LONG READ — Territory of dreams: The world of Bruno Schulz — by Becca Rothfeld: “The life of the Polish Jewish author Bruno Schulz was, by pedestrian measures, a small one. It ended prematurely in 1942, when he was murdered in the street at the age of 50 by a Gestapo officer, and it was almost entirely confined to his provincial hometown of Drohobycz… So Schulz must have felt in Drohobycz as his fantasies whirled out into the world, leaving him defenseless in the wake of the German occupation. For a time, he survived. The Nazis deemed him a ‘necessary Jew’ because his artistic talents enabled him to paint competent propaganda on the walls of an art-loving (or at least image-loving) Gestapo officer’s residence.” [TheNation]
DESSERT — Manischewitz Co. to be acquired by Kenover Marketing:“The Newark-based Manischewitz Co. has agreed to sell all of its kosher food business to Bayonne-based Kenover Marketing Corp., the two companies announced Monday evening. The transaction will exclude the Season Brand of products, the companies said in a release. Both parties said in the release that they are operating business as usual and will honor outstanding commitments — and that they look forward to concluding this transaction in the near future, at which time they will issue a public announcement with further details.”[ROI-NJ]
REMEMBERING — Richard Stone, Florida’s first Jewish senator since Civil War, dies at 90: “Richard Stone, Florida’s first Jewish senator since the Civil War and an advisor on the Camp David Peace Accords, has died. Stone died on Sunday at the age of 90, his son-in-law Joel Poznansky told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email… In 1975, he became the state’s first Jewish senator since the Civil War… A Democrat and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Stone led efforts to secure aid for Israel and was an advisor on the 1978 Camp David Accords which set the stage for the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. As a senator, he traveled to Israel where he met with political leaders including Prime Minister Menachem Begin.” [JTA]
BIRTHDAYS: Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1992 to 2015, he is currently on a book tour for new memoir “For the Good of the Game,” Allan Huber “Bud” Selig turns 85… Retired attorney from the firm of Hatton, Petrie & Stackler in Aliso Viejo, CA, Ronald E. Stackler turns 82… Long-time owner and editor-in-chief of The New Republic, he was chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation for 12 years and is a friend of many Israeli leaders, Martin H. “Marty” Peretz turns 80… Film director over many decades, writer, actor, producer, critic and film historian, he is best known as the director of The Last Picture Show (1971), Peter Bogdanovich turns 80… The first woman justice on the Nebraska Supreme Court (1998-present), as a teen she won two gold medals and a silver medal as a swimmer at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, Justice Lindsey Miller-Lerman turns 72…
Actor, director and producer, Ken Olin turns 65… Businessman, philanthropist and investor, of Uzbek Bukhari background, known as the “King of Diamonds,” Lev Leviev turns 63… Born in Moldova, made aliyah in her late 20s, elected as Mayor of Arad in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, she was a member of the Knesset for the Kulanu party (2015-2019), Tali Ploskov turns 57… Former Southwest regional political director for AIPAC, now COO for Trump-Pence in 2020, Michael Glassner turns 56… A descendant of the French branch of the Rothschild family, he is the chairman of the Edmond de Rothschild Group, a private Swiss bank established by his father, Benjamin de Rothschild turns 56…
Emmy Award-winning actress, comedian and producer, Lisa Kudrow turns 56… Best-selling non-fiction author, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone magazines, he is a co-creator of the HBO series “Vinyl,” Rich Cohen turns 51… District director for House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold L. Nadler (D-NY10), Robert Gottheim turns 48… Childhood actor, he served as a law clerk in 2008 for Justices O’Connor and Ginsburg, the only blind person to clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court, now a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur, Isaac Lidsky turns 40… News reporter and producer at Southern California public radio station KCRW, where he produces “DnA: Design and Architecture,” Avishay Artsy turns 39…
President and founder in 2013 of Dallas-based ECA Strategies, following five years as the Southwest political director for AIPAC, Eric Axel turns 39… Division director at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Lewis Sohinki turns 39… New media editor at the Times of Israel, her writing covers a range of personal topics including parenting, divorce, death, abortion and living under rocket fire, Sarah Tuttle-Singer turns 38… Director of policy and public affairs for the Jewish Community of Denmark, Jonas Herzberg Karpantschof turns 37… Staff assistant for Congressman Greg Pence (R-IN-06), he is a 2017 graduate from Elon University with majors in political science and international studies, Joshua Weintraub turns 25… Winner of the Miss Israel pageant in 2014, she is now an international businesswoman, Mor Maman turns 24…