Good Monday morning!
Campus Beat:College students at Duke and University of North Carolina spoke with The New York Times about their mixed feelings on Trump’s recent executive order on antisemitism — amid a rash of disturbing campus incidents.
In New Jersey, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and State Department Envoy on Antisemitism Elan Carr will visit the site of the Jersey City terror attack. More below.
Transition: Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has joined United Against a Nuclear Iran as a senior advisor.
Third anniversary: Yesterday marked the third anniversary of President Donald Trump’s appointment of David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel. “Will Trump’s ambassador to Israel box in Bibi from the right?” was the question at the time.
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INTERVIEW — New Jersey governor says social media allows hate to rapidly spread
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy discussed his state’s response to the horrific Jersey City terror attack and his commitment to fighting the growing threat of antisemitism during an interview with Jewish Insider’s Jacob Kornbluh.
Stronger together: Murphy says his message to the Jewish community following the attack is that “we have the back of the community… that we’re all here for each other. That when you take a shot at one community in New Jersey, you take a shot at all of us and we rise and fall as one.”
Targeted attack:The New York Timesreported on Sunday that police recovered 10 guns and more than 400 rounds of ammunition from a pawnshop almost 40 miles south of Jersey City. The owner was arrested on criminal weapons charges after his phone number and address were found written on a note tucked into the back pocket of one of the killers. “It is quite clear these folks had hate,” the governor said, noting that the investigation is still ongoing. “They had hate towards the Jewish community and toward law enforcement.”
Words kill: According to Murphy, the attack at the Jersey City grocery is the continuation of violent attacks that have targeted the Jewish community over the past year and a result “of a new era where social media is allowing hatred to spread much more aggressively and quickly.” He pointed to the antisemitic targeting of the Hasidic community by Rise Up Ocean County in Lakewood, New Jersey, and in Rockland County, New York, as “gasoline that’s fanning the flames.”
Leadership matters: Murphy maintained that it is “incumbent on all leaders to use their bully pulpit, to use that bullhorn, and preach tolerance, preach common ground and respect for others” in addition to security measures. “I think this is a moment for leadership more than anything else.” The governor also suggested that federal hate crimes laws should be applied to social media platforms to root out hate. “I shudder to think what the Nazis would have done in the ‘20s and ‘30s if they had access to social media,” he said. “I think the private sector players, the social media hosts, have to be much more aggressive, much more forward-leaning than they have been.”
Murphy on Trump’s executive order to combat antisemitism on campus: “I have not read into it — honestly — to have an informed answer for you. I think getting the balance right of free speech and the First Amendment rights, which we hold dear, [is important], but there’s a line we have to draw. We must chew gum and walk at the same time. We have to protect free speech, but we have to call out hatred and shut it down when it rears its head like that.”
Scene yesterday: The New Jersey governor hosted the state’s annual Hanukkah reception at his residence in Princeton, N.J. Israeli Consul General to New York Dani Dayan delivered remarks at the gathering.
In one voice: Murphy, flanked by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, and Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Albio Sires (D-NJ), hosted an interfaith roundtable at Temple Beth El in Jersey City on Friday.
Call for action: Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, is calling on local, state and federal officials to address the rise of antisemitism and provide the needed tools and funds to secure the Jewish community across the country.
New details: In an in-depth feature on last week’s shooting, The New York Times revealed new details about the attack, including the shooter’s hate-filled ideology, the small but growing Jersey City Jewish community and the hours-long standoff with police that ended in tragedy.
IN HINDSIGHT — Four months after the Tlaib & Omar ban, have U.S.-Israel ties suffered?
On August 16, the Israeli government barred two Democratic congresswomen from entering the country. The move, a reversal of an initial decision to allow Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to visit Israel on an organized tour, was met with widespread criticism from Jewish leaders and political figures alike. The decision, some said, would “advance the cause of BDS.” Others warned that it would “further the partisan politicization” of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Days after the ban was announced, Israeli officials reversed course and said that Tlaib would be allowed entry to visit her family in the West Bank; however, the freshman representative from Michigan ultimately declined to make the visit.
Four months later, Israel has remained a focal point of foreign policy conversations, with several 2020 candidates expressing support for leveraging aid to Israel. The House of Representatives passed — mostly along party lines — a resolution that reaffirmed U.S. support for a two-state solution and opposition to annexation.
Jewish Insider’s Jacob Kornbluh and Melissa Weiss examine whether the predictions from four months ago have panned out and the significance of the ban for U.S.-Israel relations.
The ramifications: The move had “negative repercussions” on the U.S.-Israel relationship, Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, suggested in an interview with Jewish Insider. The decision to bar entry to Democratic lawmakers, coupled with recent comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggesting that Israel would annex large swaths of the West Bank, “embolden people on the extreme, progressive left against Israel” and make the discussion of Israel in the 2020 election “exactly where we don’t want it to be,” Halber said. “We don’t want Israel to be a major focus of discussion in the Democratic primary. We want Israel to be assumed [as] a bipartisan area of agreement.”
No bend on broad support: Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) tells JI’s Jacob Kornbluh that he doesn’t believe Israel’s decision had an impact on the bipartisan nature of support for Israel. There’s “broad support among a super-majority of the Democratic party“ for military aid for Israel in Congress, he said. Gottheimer described the presidential candidates who expressed support for leveraging aid to Israel as “splintered Democrats” and “far-left.”
Add it to the list: Susie Gelman, chair of the Israel Policy Forum, told JI that while the entry ban on Tlaib and Omar didn’t “directly impact” the discussion on conditioning aid, it has the same “lasting, negative impact” on Democrats’ views on Israel similar to Netanyahu’s appearance before a joint session of Congress in 2015, when he pressed the body to reject then-President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
Warning sign: According to Shalom Lipner, who worked in the Israeli prime minister’s office for 26 years, the trip incident “compounded together with other points of contention — such as Israel’s open identification with Trump… exacerbated an already fraught relationship and endangered fragile bipartisanship.” The debate among certain candidates over U.S. aid to Israel “is one definite symptom of this predicament,” Lipner said.
Wrong move: New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss, who wrote about the incident at the time, tells JI’s Melissa Weiss: “It was stupid and counterproductive, mostly because it just makes Israel look so weak and small, and like it has something to hide. The occupation is an ugly thing, but there’s also a lot of other excellent things that, on balance, when most people go to Israel and the Palestinian territories, they come away more — I hate the word pro-Israel — but more pro-Israel, not less. Or [they have] more of a sense of the complications of it.”
View from the right: Jack Rosen, a longtime donor to Democratic candidates and president of the American Jewish Congress, defended Israel’s decision. “Countries under attack, like Israel, have to be careful how they handle those who support their enemies. I think people understand that,” Rosen explained. “Americans are smart. They get it. They certainly understand that Israel has to take extra precaution given its situation. There’s a growing number of people on the left who are anti-Israel. This is nothing new in America. It’s only a small minority who feel emboldened.”
INTERNAL INTRIGUE — The debate within J Street over conditioning aid to Israel
“When the policy was debated internally earlier this year, it appeared that [J Street President Jeremy] Ben-Ami and, as a result, the board, were ready to get behind it, but sources with knowledge of the debate say that objections from the group’s Israel office derailed it. Specifically, Yael Patir, J Street’s Tel Aviv-based Israel director, warned that if it endorsed conditioning aid, J Street would lose any influence it had in the Knesset or Israeli politics generally. That influence, countered backers of the policy, was already at zero, so it shouldn’t be a hold-up. But the argument carried the day.”
Asked to respond, Ben-Ami told The Intercept he wouldn’t comment on J Street’s “sausage-making process,” and blasted the leakers: “It’s unfortunate, as always, in these situations when you want to have freedom to have conversations, and some folks decide to talk about them outside the room,” he said.
Patir declined to comment in an email to JI.
📺 Media Watch: The Atlantic’s Elaina Plott takes a closer look at the success of Fox News host Tucker Carlson in the Trump era, his controversial remarks, and the anti-interventionist viewpoints on his prime-time daily program. [TheAtlantic]
🤝 Dealmaking:The Associated Press’ Matt Lee details how Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) leveraged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Senate hopes to get the State Department to release part of an internal legal opinion saying the U.S. has the right to demand U.N. snapback sanctions. In exchange, Cruz lifted his hold on the nomination for Stephen Biegun to serve as Foggy Bottom’s number two official, putting him in line to succeed Pompeo instead of David Hale, who testified in the impeachment inquiry. [AP]
🗳️ Learning Curve: Commentary’s Noah Rothman wonders whether Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will face the same scrutiny as the defeated U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over his campaign’s affiliation with Corbyn, list of surrogates and aides with problematic antisemitic and anti-Israel views.
AROUND THE WEB
👀 Watchful Eyes: In Tablet, Lahav Harkov profiles Sarit Zehavi, the founder of an Israeli think tank keeping a close watch on Hezbollah.
🕍 Talk of the Town: The Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills was ransacked by a vandal early Saturday morning, who broke in and trashed the sanctuary, damaging prayer books, Torah scrolls and prayer shawls.
✡️ Exploring Ties: Jews in Pittsburgh are reaching out to build a partnership with their co-religionists in Warsaw, Poland.
🎛️ Public Dispute: In a speech last week, Taylor Swift called out the Carlyle Group and the Soros family as a “potentially harmful force” for helping record executive Scooter Braun purchase the rights to her old music.
💪 Block War: A Department of Justice attorney, McKay Smith, got into a bizarre dispute with the Auschwitz Museum on Twitter, accusing them of blocking accounts belonging to Jewish women and harassing several of his followers.
💸 Deep Dive:The Wall Street Journal’s Maureen Farrell and Eliot Brown take an inside look at how ousted WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann persuaded investors to pour in more money to maintain his grip over the company and its stock sales.
💊 Going Global: Mundipharma, the foreign affiliate of the Sackler-owned Purdue Pharma, largely blamed for the U.S. opioid crisis, is now peddling an antidote for opioid overdoses overseas.
✋ Cotton vs. Crapo: Bloomberg‘s Eli Lake describes how Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is placing roadblocks on bipartisan legislation spearheaded by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) against the Chinese telecom firm Huawei.
🧕 You Gotta Understand:Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) touted her support for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and explained her past comments — which were slammed as antisemitic stereotypes — in an interview with Yahoo News.
🎤 Echo Chamber:BuzzFeed News draws attention to the softball questions Ivanka Trump fielded at the Doha Forum over the weekend from State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus.
🤵 Trump Stories:The Washington Post’s JM Rieger follows up on Jewish Insider’s observation of the rotating “friend” character in Trump’s story — with a video mashup — described regularly at Jewish events in recent months.
🙍 No Tools: In Foreign Policy, Sam Sokol describes how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who boasts of his diplomatic prowess and personal relationships with foreign leaders, is starving Israel’s Foreign Ministry of funds.
🏢 Baby Steps: Brazil opened a trade office in Jerusalem on Sunday. At the ceremony, attended by Netanyahu, President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo Bolsonaro said his father will eventually follow up on his pledge to move Brazil’s embassy to Israel’s capital. Netanyahu said he has been given assurances that it will happen in 2020.
🇬🇧 🇮🇱 Reliable Allies: U.K. special envoy for post-Holocaust issues Eric Pickles said in Jerusalem on Sunday that the new Conservative-led British government will pass an anti-BDS law.
✉️ Apology Demanded: Eighty-eight members of the British House of Lords have signed a letter calling on Baroness Jenny Tonge to apologize for her post-election remarks, when she wrote: “The Chief Rabbi must be dancing in the street. The pro-Israel lobby won our General Election by lying about Jeremy Corbyn.”
🌇 The City for All: Business intelligence company Euromonitor International ranks Jerusalem as the world’s fastest-growing destination for tourists.
🗳️ Likud Primary: Netanyahu challenger Gideon Saar has gained the backing of six out of 32 Likud MKs ahead of the December 26 primary race — including bigwig and former minister Haim Katz (who resigned his post in August after being indicted).
🕯️Remembering: Felix G. Rohatyn, a child refugee from Nazi-occupied France who steered New York City away from bankruptcy in the 1970s, passed away at age 91.
🕯️Burt Resnick, who led the New York real estate powerhouse Jack Resnick & Sons for more than 30 years, has died at 83.
CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl turns 78…
Israeli-American pianist and distinguished professor of music at Indiana University, Menahem Pressler turns 96… British chemist and research professor at the University of Nottingham, Sir Martyn Poliakoff turns 72… Partner in the Los Angeles office of Boies Schiller Flexner, Susan Estrich turns 67… Partner in the Denver law firm of Springer & Steinberg and veteran radio broadcaster, Craig Silverman turns 64… Ray Watts turns 55… President and co-founder of The New Agenda, Amy Siskind turns 54… First OMB director in the Obama administration, now CEO of financial advisory at Lazard, Peter R. Orszag turns 51… Astrophysicist and professor at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute, he was a winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, Adam Riess turns 50…
Deputy national director of AIPAC’s synagogue initiative, Rabbi Eric Stark turns 49… SVP at CRC Public Relations, Adam Bromberg turns 48… Head of strategy, external engagement and internal governance in the London office of HSBC, Melissa Wisner turns 37… Senior advisor on the presidential campaign of Senator Cory Booker, Matthew B. Klapper turns 37… Senior writer for Politico and co-author of Politico‘s Playbook, Jake Sherman turns 34… Actress Amanda Setton turns 34… U.S. Senate correspondent at the National Journal, Zachary C. Cohen turns 28… Program analyst at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Drew Liquerman turns 23… Middle East analyst at Christians United For Israel, Kasim Hafeez…