👋 Good Tuesday morning!
It’s Primary Day in New York City. At top of mind for voters: Who will succeed Bill de Blasio as mayor? Will the DSA have a sizable contingent on the City Council? And most importantly, when will we know the results? More below.
Organizers of the upcoming Chicago Dyke March drew swift criticism on Monday for a flyer depicting burning American and Israeli flags. Ethan Felson, the executive director of A Wider Bridge (AWB), told JI that the imagery was “disgusting, it’s vile, they should be ashamed of themselves. And we should take this as a teachable moment, that in progressive spaces, we don’t force people to choose among their identities.”
The Chicago event, which is scheduled for Saturday, is expected to draw just a few dozen attendees, a much smaller event than similar Pride festivities in other parts of the country. Two years after the Star of David was banned from the D.C. Dyke March and amid increasing controversy over the presence of some Jewish and pro-Israel organizations in Pride celebrations, AWB debuted a new flag combining elements of the original Pride flag and the Star of David, which Felson explained represented a refusal of Jewish members of the LGBTQ community to choose between their different identities.
The organization will be promoting the new flag on billboards and in kiosks around New York City as Pride festivities get underway this weekend. (The large-scale Pride Parade, usually held annually, was moved online for a second year in a row). “What we’re going to say is we don’t have to be in the middle of the drama,” Felson said. “We’ll be there on the side. We refuse to choose.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, a likely 2024 candidate, is slated to speak about antisemitism at an event hosted by Chabad of the Shore in Long Branch, N.J., on July 11.
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi met yesterday with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, during Kochavi’s first visit to the U.S. as Israel’s top military officer. Meeting at the Pentagon, Kochavi cautioned against the U.S. returning to the Iran nuclear deal, currently being negotiated in Vienna, and instead advocated consideration of all options to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Kochavi also discussed Gaza and restocking the Iron Dome missile-defense system.
Tensions are rising in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where yesterday a firebomb was thrown at a Jewish home and 20 Palestinians were injured amid clashes with the Israeli police.
What to watch for in today’s primary elections in New York City
New Yorkers who didn’t cast their ballots during the week of early voting will head to the polls today to choose the likely next resident of Gracie Mansion. Eight Democrats and two Republicans are battling for a spot on the November ballot, with the winners facing an unevenly matched general election in the solidly blue city — the winner of the Democratic primary is all but assured victory in November. Jewish Insider’s Melissa Weiss has a preview of the races to watch.
Mayoral Matchup: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia are all seen as top contenders to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio. Maya Wiley, who previously served as counsel to the de Blasio administration, shored up support among progressive voters and legislators amid the collapsing campaigns of fellow progressives Scott Stringer and Dianne Morales. Wall Street executive Ray McGuire and former Obama administration HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan failed to gain significant traction in the crowded race, though McGuire picked up endorsements from celebrities, as well as Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). Wiley, who was polling near the top of the pack in some of the last surveys before Primary Day, earned endorsements from progressive heavy hitters such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The last days of campaigning saw Yang and Garcia teaming up for joint events that stopped short of cross-endorsements, but it remains to be seen if their pairing is enough to stop Adams, who has consistently polled near or at the top of the list. Yang and Adams have battled for support from the city’s Orthodox Jewish community, while Garcia made a pit stop at the Masbia soup kitchen in Borough Park on Monday.
Prosecutor push: There are nine candidates vying to succeed Cyrus Vance, Jr. as Manhattan district attorney, but two — former federal prosecutors Tali Farhadian Weinstein and Alvin Bragg — have run away from the pack, with recent polls showing a neck-and-neck race. Either candidate would make history: Bragg as the first Black district attorney, and Farhadian Weinstein as the first woman to hold the role. Farhadian Weinstein, who was born in Iran and fled the country with her family at the age of 4, has come under some criticism for putting more than $8 million of her own money into her campaign earlier this month. Trailing in the race are Eliza Orlins, Dan Quart, Liz Crotty, Tahanie Aboushi, Diana Florence and Lucy Lang.
Borough beat: Four of the five borough presidents currently in office will be termed out at the end of this year. In Manhattan, nine candidates are in the race to succeed Gale Brewer, including Councilmember Mark Levine (who earlier this month called for a sizable increase in funding to the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes), Councilmember Ben Kallos, State Sen. Brad Hoylman and former congressional candidate Lindsey Boylan. In Brooklyn, a dozen Democrats, including Councilmembers Robert Cornegy and Antonio Reynoso and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, are hoping to succeed Adams.
Socialist surge: That’s the question today following months of grassroots organizing and campaigning on the part of progressive and far-left activists. With most of the City Council members vacating their seats due to newly imposed term limits, the Democratic Socialists of America and other groups are throwing their support behind a number of open-seat candidates backing issues like the defunding of police departments, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel and renters’ rights. The DSA came under significant criticism earlier this year for a candidate survey that asked individuals seeking the group’s endorsement to agree not to travel to Israel. Tuesday’s elections will be an indicator of the DSA’s popularity in the city.
Ranked-choice rollout: Ranked-choice voting, a process by which voters rank their top five candidates and the lowest-performing candidates are eliminated one by one until someone reaches the 50% threshold, was introduced citywide — with the exception of the Democratic primary for Manhattan district attorney — after being used in a special election in Queens earlier this year. Beginning after polls close tonight, the Board of Elections will run weekly rounds of ranked-choice analyses until a candidate in each race reaches 50%.
SIC SEMPER DEMOCRATS?
Can Glenn Youngkin stem the blue tide in the Old Dominion?
For most of the last 12 years, Republicans in Virginia have been wandering in a political wilderness. But the GOP hasn’t given up on Virginia yet. From a field of well-known Republican politicians, Republican voters chose Glenn Youngkin, a political newcomer who most recently served as chief executive of investing giant The Carlyle Group, as their nominee for governor. In an interview with Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch, Youngkin provided insight into how he plans to address two of his major priorities — education and the economy — and expressed concern over rising antisemitism in Virginia and around the country.
Common sense: “I think common sense has been checked at the door,” Youngkin told Jewish Insider in a recent interview at his campaign headquarters in Falls Church, Va., just inside the Beltway. He was wearing a white Oxford shirt with his campaign logo — the words YOUNGKIN GOVERNOR above the shape of Virginia — embroidered in red. “Being an outsider who brings a fresh perspective, I can say things like, ‘Well, why in the world do we do it like that?’”
Still purple: Despite Democrats’ good fortunes in Virginia in recent years, a win is not a guaranteed outcome for Terry McAuliffe, Youngkin’s Democratic competitor who previously served as governor from 2014 to 2018. A recent poll showed the former governor beating Youngkin by only four points. Yet unlike in 2017, when national money poured into the state’s down-ballot races, Virginia Democrats worry those donors might feel they no longer need to invest in Virginia. “We’ll have a challenging time convincing national donors that Virginia is at risk,” a former Democratic state official told JI. “A Republican can win in Virginia,” said Mark Rozell, dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.
Culture wars: While Youngkin is tiptoeing around Trump’s legacy, he is offering a full-throated endorsement of the latest front in national Republicans’ culture war: the battle in school boards across the country, including in Virginia, over critical race theory. “What critical race theory is clearly about is first, identifying people by the color of their skin and dividing people into groups, and then providing judgments on those groups,” Youngkin explained. The term refers to an academic theory championed by some civil-rights scholars and activists and historically reserved for college courses, that asserts that racism is systemic in the U.S. Some Republicans, including Youngkin, are seeking to limit recent school board curriculum changes that now mandate the teaching of topics like white supremacy and racism in greater detail. Critics of critical race theory argue that teaching children that white Americans have “white privilege” due to their race, while people of color are at a disadvantage, encourages strife between racial groups. Critical race theory has also been linked to antisemitism. “It was, in fact, mandated through the Board of Education, that we were going to teach this in the schools. We will de-mandate that,” said Youngkin.
Oldest hatred: Youngkin’s relative novelty also extends to the state’s Jewish community. “Most of my Jewish friends, candidly, are either in New York or Texas,” Youngkin said when asked who he is close to in Virginia’s Jewish community. Last week, Youngkin unveiled a plan to combat antisemitism — his most specific policy proposal to date, on any topic. He pledged to create a “Virginia Holocaust, Genocide and Anti-Semitism Advisory Commission” and work with the General Assembly to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. The plan appears to be modeled off a bill that passed in Texas last week, which will adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and create a state commission of the same name as the one in Youngkin’s proposal. “Antisemitism is on the rise, and actually violence is, as a result of, I think, a lessening of understanding of, one, we have to treat each other with deep respect, but also, why do we teach about the Holocaust in Virginia? It’s to make sure that Virginians understand and can remember,” Youngkin explained.
Man of faith: Youngkin is active in faith circles; he served as church warden at Holy Trinity Church in McLean, and until he ran for office, he was on the board of trustees at the Museum of the Bible in Washington. “What I loved about the museum — when I was in an exhibit, and I looked around, there were folks from every possible faith persuasion, and none,” Youngkin said. “There were folks from all ages and ethnicities learning about the Bible, and for all kinds of reasons: curiosity, to deepen a religious understanding, it was really neat.”
🙁 Strained Ties: Writing in Commentary, Bret Stephens argues that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fall from power is the result of his mishandling of personal relationships. “[Anecdotes] go far to explain how Netanyahu’s long reign as prime minister came to an end—not because he was defeated by his ideological opponents, or brought down by a legal case against him, or turned out of office following some policy fiasco. Rather, Netanyahu fell because, through a combination of high-handedness and jealousy, he allowed too many of his onetime allies and ideological fellow-travelers to become permanently embittered ex-friends.” [Commentary]
🌊 A River Runs Through It: The New York Times’ Isabel Kershner dissects the debate over the Asi River, a prized stream running through a kibbutz in northern Israel that has inflamed tensions between the different segments of Israeli society that want access — largely for recreational activities — to the waterway. “The Asi dispute pits advantaged scions of the country’s socialist founders against a younger generation from a traditionally marginalized group. And it has resonated across Israel as a distillation of the identity politics and divisions that deepened under the long prime ministership of Benjamin Netanyahu.” [NYTimes]
🏀 Balls and Bales: In Barron’s, V.L. Hendrickson spotlights Amar’e Stoudemire’s side gig — the former Israeli basketball player and current player development assistant for the Brooklyn Nets owns and operates a working cattle farm in Hyde Park, N.Y., and sells his products at New York City’s largest farmer’s market. “My grandfather was an avid fisher, so we always had fresh fish for the community. I grew up watching that, and when the opportunity presented itself to purchase this land, I wanted to step right in there and figure out a way to turn this land into a working farm,” Stoudemire said. [Barrons]
🔯 Unsung Heroes: Leah Garrett previews her new book X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War Two in Time, telling the story of the real-life “Inglorious Basterds,” a British commando unit of Jewish refugees from Europe. “After the men are selected or volunteer for this new hazardous duty, they are brought to London and interviewed by MI5. They are told that they will be taking the fight directly to the Nazis, and that the work will be extremely dangerous. They understand the risks but feel they have nothing more to lose. Hitler has to be stopped at all costs, so every man volunteers.” [Time]
Around the Web
👮 Whose Wall Is It? Israel’s Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev vowed to take action to protect Women of the Wall after a recent prayer service was met with violent protest.
👎 Knesset Kibitz: Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party launched a swiftly defeated no-confidence vote yesterday against the new government. A second no-confidence motion was filed by Haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, and was similarly defeated yesterday.
🗳️ Big Vote: The Knesset will vote next week on whether to extend a 2003 law that currently prevents the extension of citizenship to Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens. The government currently does not have enough votes to extend the law, which is voted on annually.
📈 Going Public: Israeli cybersecurity company SentinelOne filed a prospectus for listing on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, aiming at a valuation of $7 billion. If successful, it would be the largest Israeli company taken public to date.
🌟 A Light Upon Nations: Researchers in Israel developed a process whereby luminescent bacteria can be grown in dirt and used to detect landmines.
💻💰 Next Wave Shekel: The Bank of Israel is currently piloting a digital shekel, with Deputy Governor Andrew Abir estimating a 20% chance that it will launch in the next five years.
🚫 Fizzled Out: Gaza’s Pepsi bottling factory has suspended operations after running out of raw materials, like carbon dioxide gas and syrup, that have been subject to tight Israeli import restrictions, following last month’s conflict between Israel and Hamas.
⛅ Safe Skies: IDF contractor Elbit Systems Ltd is developing a defense system to shoot down drones and other flying objects for Israel.
☮️ Talking Peace: Yemen’s Hadi government and insurgent Houthis are reportedly nearing a peace deal that would end the seven-year civil war.
💰 Startup Nation: Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Mnuchin aide Eli Miller and former Ambassador to Israel David Friedman visited Tel Aviv to establish the office of their Gulf-focused fund, Liberty Strategic.
🗣️ On the Hill: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will meet today to debate and vote on repealing the 2002 and 1991 Authorizations for Use of Military Force in Iraq.
🌐 Saving the Internet: Real estate billionaire Frank McCourt is providing $100 million in funding for a new blockchain-based alternative to current social media companies.
🏢 Back to Work: Riding the return-to-work wave, WeWork posted its best sales in April and May since its failed IPO and firing of founder Adam Neumann in 2019.
🧾 Pressure Squeeze: Trump confidant and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg has resisted pressure from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. to turn on the former president and cooperate with a New York investigation into former President Trump’s finances.
💸 Public Audit: Hedge fund manager Boaz Weinstein and Manhattan DA candidate Tali Farhadian Weinstein gave Dealbook years of tax returns showing investment losses to explain their income tax payments.
👔 Business Ties: Endeavor Group Holding President Mark Shapiro and CEO Ari Emanuel resigned from Live Nation’s board of directors amid Department of Justice concerns that the executives’ presence on the board of a rival media company posed possible antitrust violations.
🎥 Coming Soon: Netflix has struck a multi-year deal with filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Partners, to produce exclusive films for the streaming platform.
💼 Transition: Stephanie Hausner is joining the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations as its chief program officer.
🕯️ Remembering: Former president of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, Fritzie Fritzshall, died at age 91.
Gif of the Day
In the trailer for the upcoming Apple+ dark comedy series, based off a hit podcast, “The Shrink Next Door,” Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell star as the real-life psychiatrist Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf, who works to take control of the life of his patient, Marty Markowitz.
A leading securities, corporate and M&A attorney, he is a founding partner of the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Martin Lipton turns 90…
U.S. Senator (D-CA) since 1992, Dianne Feinstein turns 88… Former D.C.-based VP of Israel Aerospace Industries, Marvin Klemow turns 84… Jerusalem-born 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry and the director of a research center at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Ada Yonath turns 82… Retired U.K. judge who chaired high profile hearings on ethics in media, prompted by the 2011 News of the World phone hacking affair, Sir Brian Henry Leveson turns 78… Winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics, he is a professor at Brown University, J. Michael Kosterlitz turns 78… Retired justice on Israel’s Supreme Court, she was previously Israel’s state prosecutor, Edna Arbel turns 77… U.S. Senator (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren turns 72… Member of the California State Assembly since 2012, previously mayor of Santa Monica, Richard Hershel Bloom turns 68… AIPAC director for greater Washington, Deborah Adler turns 64… Past president of the UJA Federation of New York, Alisa Robbins Doctoroff turns 63… Member of Congress (D-CA) since 2001 and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff turns 61… Former member of the Knesset for the Hatnuah and Zionist Union parties, Robert Tiviaev turns 60…
Founder of tech incubator Playground Global and the creator of the Android operating system, Andy Rubin turns 59… Speaker of the Knesset until ten days ago, Yariv Gideon Levin turns 52… Director of media strategy at Red Banyan, Kelcey Kintner turns 51… Program director at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Rafi Rone turns 50… Senior correspondent and columnist for Haaretz and Netanyahu biographer, Anshel Pfeffer turns 48… Israeli jazz vocalist and composer, Julia Feldman turns 42… Executive director at Mesivta Netzach HaTorah in Woodmere, N.Y., Ahron Rosenthal turns 40… Recently retired MLB second baseman, he is planning to play for Team Israel at the upcoming Summer Olympics, Ian Kinsler turns 39… Co-founder of Russia’s largest social network VK, Vaizra Capital investment fund, and Selectel network centers, Lev Binzumovich Leviev turns 37… Baltimore-based endodontist, Jeffrey H. Gardyn, DDS turns 35… Israeli-born basketball player with 11 NBA seasons, Omri Casspi turns 33… Outfielder in the Washington Nationals organization, he started all three games for Team Israel in the 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifier round, Rhett Wiseman turns 27…