👋 Good Tuesday morning!
Ed note: Greetings from Princeton, N.J., where the JI team is gathered this week. Thank you to Rabbi Eitan Webb for graciously hosting the team for dinner last night. Go Tigers!
House Democrats are still at an impasse over the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget blueprint following a day of negotiations between centrist holdouts and party leadership, which ended without any votes taken.
A group of centrist Democrats led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) is threatening to block the budget resolution from passing unless the House first passes the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure deal. Party leadership spent much of Monday attempting to convince the group to vote for the budget framework.
Negotiations stretched past midnight, after some in Gottheimer’s group rejected a compromise earlier in the day that would have committed to passing the bipartisan plan by the end of September. Gottheimer himself was reportedly amenable to that proposal.
Tensions between the caucus and the holdouts ratcheted up throughout the day, and was reportedly on display during a caucus meeting: Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said they needed to “come to grips” with the situation; House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern (D-MA) told members, “you all have to vote for the goddamn rule;” and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-OH) said “how dare you.” Off mic, another member called the group “f***ing a**holes.”
Progressive groups, including Justice Democrats, have also targeted Gottheimer and his cohort, accusing them of “obstructing President Biden” and the infrastructure deal in the interest of avoiding tax hikes on corporations and billionaires.
Gottheimer similarly accused progressive lawmakers who insisted on passing the budget before the infrastructure plan of blocking the president’s agenda in an interview with Jewish Insider last week.
A reality check: Some of this debate may ultimately be moot. Sen. Kristen Sinema (D-AZ), a critical swing vote in the Senate, said Monday she will not back final passage of a $3.5 trillion spending package.
The House will reconvene at noon today. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters as she was leaving the Capitol that she expects the House will vote today.
President Joe Biden announced the nomination of Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff in the Obama administration and mayor of Chicago, as ambassador to Japan.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul was sworn in as the state’s 57th governor just after midnight, replacing embattled former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, becoming the first woman chief executive in the state’s history.
copper state candidate
Meet the man who wants to be Arizona’s first Jewish governor
Aaron Lieberman, an Arizona state legislator who flipped a GOP-held district in 2018, is hoping he can defy expectations once again as he embarks on a newly launched bid for statewide office. The Phoenix-based entrepreneur announced his candidacy in Arizona’s open-seat gubernatorial election earlier this summer, joining a growing number of Democratic primary contenders vying to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. If Lieberman prevails, he would take up where Arizona’s last Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano, left off in 2009. But Lieberman also wants to make history of another sort. “I’m running to be the governor of Arizona for all of our citizens, but I will also be the first Jewish governor of Arizona,” Lieberman, 49, said in a recent interview with Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel. “That means something to Jewish people.”
Jewish advocacy: The gubernatorial hopeful, who attends Friday night services nearly every week at his local synagogue, said he has made a persistent effort to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community on any number of issues. He visited Israel two years ago on a delegation to open an Arizona trade office in Tel Aviv, and during his first year in office supported a bill combating efforts to boycott the Jewish state. “As a Jewish person, I’ll always stand up for and believe in Israel, in terms of my day-to-day work as a legislator and even being governor,” he said. Last year, Lieberman helped usher a recently signed Holocaust education bill through the state legislature.
Standing strong: “That was an interesting journey,” Lieberman said of passing the Holocaust education bill. “At one point, Republican leadership, who were supportive, wanted a Republican member to run it who isn’t Jewish, and I just said in the meeting, ‘Well, we’d need to do that if Hitler were successful and had killed all of the Jews, but fortunately, some of us survived and we’re sitting right here as members of the legislature and we can run this bill under our own name.’”
‘Common-sense’ candidate: Casting himself as a moderate lawmaker with a record of bipartisan cooperation, Lieberman argues that his campaign will appeal more broadly to voters who are eager for a return to “common-sense solutions” as Democrats and Republicans remain fiercely divided over false allegations of electoral fraud following last year’s presidential election. “I fundamentally believe — and I think a lot of people believe this right now — that our politics are broken and that our leaders aren’t stepping up to the challenge,” he told JI.
Arduous primary battle: With the primaries just under a year away, Lieberman is in for an arduous primary battle as he enters the race with some disadvantages, including low name recognition. But Lieberman emphasizes that he has beaten the odds before. “I’m committed to making sure we have all the resources we’ll need to compete and win,” he told JI. “But I need help, and for sure, I hope it will be attractive to members of the Jewish community all across the country, about the idea of this Jew in Arizona running to both fight for our democracy and fight for our kids.”
📰 Media Empire: Amid rumors that Axel Springer is in talks to buy Politico, Tablet’s Jamie Kirchick explores the divide between American media institutions and the Germany-based Axel Springer, whose employees sign onto a list of guiding principles including support for Israel’s existence and the Jewish people. “When Israel is attacked, or when German Jews are assaulted on the streets of Berlin, no Axel Springer journalist can reasonably complain when his or her employer offers a token gesture of solidarity, just as they can’t justifiably object when the company’s media properties decry the far-right Alternative for Deutschland or go after Vladimir Putin. Much of the recent collapse of confidence in American institutions can be attributed to a lack of such moral clarity, and to the ease with which so many institutional leaders are routinely bullied out of defending the principles of their own organizations.” [Tablet]
🌐 Between Two Worlds: The New York Times’s Patrick Kingsley and Gabby Sobelman look at the Samaritan community, a group numbering 800 — split between Holon, Israel, and Mount Gerizim, near Nablus in the West Bank — that weaves between Palestinian and Israeli society. “As children, they grow up speaking Arabic. As teenagers, they study at schools run by the Palestinian Authority. As retirees, many regularly smoke shisha in the Palestinian city of Nablus, farther down the slopes of Mount Gerizim. But they also hold Israeli citizenship, often work in Israel, pay for Israeli health insurance and visit relatives in a suburb of Tel Aviv. In Israeli elections, several say they vote for the right-wing, pro-settler Likud Party. Yet the Samaritans are still represented on the dormant council of the Palestine Liberation Organization.” [NYTimes]
💡 Big Ideas: In The Wall Street Journal, author and former George W. Bush administration White House staffer Tevi Troy examines the impact of groupthink on decisions made at the highest levels of the U.S. government as the Biden administration manages a contentious withdrawal from Afghanistan. Troy cites the Kennedy administration’s ExComm, which he described as “a group that could debate national-security issues openly.” ExComm, Troy writes, “deliberately included people outside the National Security Council to get external opinions. It held informal meetings without an agenda to allow for unrestricted conversations. It met both with and without the president to ensure that his opinions didn’t stifle debate. The Kennedy team successfully used the ExComm for deliberations during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which was resolved without nuclear confrontation.” [WSJ]
Around the Web
🚓 Apprehended: Four suspects were arrested in the killing of 18-year-old Shmuel Silverberg outside a yeshiva in Denver; a fifth suspect remains at large.
🇧🇭 Manama Mazel: Bahrain’s Jewish community, approximately 50 strong, celebrated its first bar mitzvah in 16 years. The young man read from the Torah that former senior White House adviser Jared Kushner commissioned in honor of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa following the signing of last year’s Abraham Accords.
✍️ Looking Back: Wall Street Journal Letters Editor Elliot Kaufman writes an in-depth retrospective on the Crown Heights riots, 30 years after the Brooklyn neighborhood was overtaken by days of violence that resulted in the death of 29-year-old Yankel Rosenbaum.
🎯 Target Practice: The U.S. military completed its first test on American soil of the recently delivered Iron Dome missile-defense batteries purchased from Israel.
✡️ Community Building: Former Miami Heatbasketball player Meyers Leonard, who came under fire earlier this year for using an antisemitic word on a livestream, revealed in an Instagram post that he had “immersed myself in the process of learning about the Jewish community.”
🎙️Podcast Playback: Former White House Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt is releasing a series of episodes of his new podcast, “The Diplomat,” focused on the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan.
🎖️Posthumous Honor: The city of Knoxville, Tenn., dedicated a historical marker to Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, who protected hundreds of captured Jewish soldiers in a POW camp during WWII.
🖼️ Reopening: A controversial exhibit about the life of Jewish art dealer Max Stern is set to open in Dusseldorf, Germany, next month without the support of the Jewish community or Stern’s estate, three years after an initial exhibition was canceled at the last minute over issues related to restitution.
💰New Age: Paypal CEO Dan Schulman has recently made big bets on cryptocurrency, believing it makes the financial system more efficient.
🪑 New Gig: Former Israeli Consul General in New York Dani Dayan was officially appointed director of Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, on Sunday.
🔍 Looking Into It: Israel has begun hearing testimony in its inquiry into the stampede at Mt. Meron on Lag B’Omer, in which 44 people were killed.
💉 All Eyes: As the first country to roll out a widespread vaccination program, Israel is now a test case for how to handle booster shots amid waning immunity among the earliest populations to receive the inoculation.
📉 Good Sign: The number of COVID-19 cases among older age groups in Israel is dropping, weeks after the country began administering third doses.
🪖 Military service: The Israeli cabinet reached an agreement on draft legislation for military exemptions for ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students following years of political wrangling over how the ultra-Orthodox should serve in the army.
📚 Series of firsts: Sumaiiah Almehiri, an electrical engineer from the UAE and Boulder, Colo., will become the first Emirati woman to study at an Israeli university when she begins classes at Haifa University this coming fall.
📹 Behind Bars: Footage from Iran’s Evin prison, obtained during a cyberattack, depicts a grim environment at the notorious jail.
⚖️ In Court: Former Rudy Giuliani associate Igor Fruman is expected to plead guilty tomorrow to federal charges of campaign finance violations.
🕯️ Remembering: Labor organizer and activist Stanley Aronowitz died at 88.
Pic of the Day
Israeli Transport Minister Merav Michaeli and her partner, popular comedian Lior Schlein, welcomed the arrival of their first child this weekend, born to a surrogate in the United States.
The minister, who is also head of the Labor party, initially faced criticism for appearing to flout coronavirus policies by traveling abroad for a vacation amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. On Saturday, however, after the former journalist and TV presenter revealed in a lengthy social media post that the trip was not a vacation but to meet Ori, the couple’s newborn, there was an outpouring of support.
“The first time Lior said ‘Let’s have a child,’ I thought it was the punchline of a joke,” wrote Michaeli, 54, on Facebook. “He is a satirist after all, and this is me — he knew that I had no intention of having children. When he continued, I thought he was only saying it because that’s an accepted way of expressing love in our culture.”
“For a long time, I thought it would pass because our lives are really great just as they are but, as time went on, I realized how much he wanted to have a child. I looked at him and I love him. I chose to live with him, so I also chose to go with him on this journey,” she wrote.
President of Harvard University, Lawrence Seldon Bacow turns 70…
Professor at UCSD and the 1990 Nobel Prize laureate in Economics, Harry Max Markowitz turns 94… Dean of the Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic, Rabbi Meir Stern turns 86… Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University, teacher at Cardozo Law School, and the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jehuda in NYC, Rabbi J. David Bleich turns 85… Author and geriatric care manager and online counsellor for seniors in Scottsdale, Ariz., Lois G. Tager turns 80… Co-founder of Entercom, later CEO of CBS and Sirius Radio, Mel Karmazin turns 78… U.S. Senator (D-WV), Joe Manchin turns 74… Celebrity furniture designer, Dakota Jackson turns 72… Rabbi of the Maidenhead Synagogue in Berkshire, England, Dr. Jonathan Romain turns 67… Deputy associate attorney general at U.S. Department of Justice, Ricki Seidman turns 66… Former governor of Arkansas and twice a candidate for U.S. president, Mike Huckabee turns 66… Co-chair of the real estate practice and the infrastructure practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and the vice-chair of Birthright, J. Philip Rosen turns 65… Essayist and longtime staff writer for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik turns 65… Actor, producer and director, Steve Guttenberg turns 63… President of Pace University, Marvin Krislov turns 61… Professor of otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Jonathan E. Aviv turns 61… President of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, Marc Terrill turns 60… Professional organizer, Donna Barwald turns 59…
1986 winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “Children of a Lesser God,” she is the only deaf performer to have won the award, Marlee Matlin turns 56… Founder of Gawker Media, Nick Denton turns 55… Former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Andrew Romanoff turns 55… President of the Jewish United Fund / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Lonnie Nasatir turns 52… CNN political analyst, David Gregory turns 51… U.S. Senator (R-IN), Todd Young turns 49… Israeli cinematographer and director, Avigail Sperber turns 48… Director of content at the U.K.-based Brainstorm Digital, Miriam Shaviv turns 45… President of baseball operations and GM of MLB’s Texas Rangers, Jon Daniels turns 44… Boston-based founder and executive director of the bipartisan group New Politics, Emily Cherniack turns 44… Attorney in Tel Aviv specialized in cross-border intellectual property disputes, Michael M. Rosen turns 44… Israeli actress and musician, Meital Dohan turns 42… CEO and co-founder of Rent the Runway, Jennifer Hyman turns 41… Associate head coach of the Duke basketball team, slated to become head coach after the 2021-22 season, Jon Scheyer turns 34… CEO of the JCommerce Group, David M. Perelman turns 32… Director in The Glover Park Group’s Strategic Communications Division, Galia Slayen turns 31… Director of operations at Maree Pour Toi, Sammy Feinstein turns 31… Film and television actor, Griffin Gluck turns 21… Vice president at Edelman, Natalie Strom…