👋 Good Friday morning!
For less-distracted reading over the weekend, browse this week’s edition of The Weekly Print, a curated print-friendly PDF featuring a selection of recent JI stories, including: A triathlete runs (and swims, and cycles) to daylight; Dana Cowin’s second course; Looking to find common ground with American liberals, Israel’s deputy FM heads to D.C.; At RJC, a glimpse of a party trying to capitalize on recent gains; In Israel, Arkansas governor talks self-driving delivery trucks and missile defense; Backed by Trump, Harriet Hageman looks to unseat Liz Cheney; and An inside look at the Library of Congress’s Hebrew treasures. Print the latest edition here.
Today is the final day of the recount in the Democratic primary in Florida’s 20th Congressional District, where Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick leads Dale Holness by just five votes. Cherfilus-McCormick filed an emergency lawsuit yesterday asking the Broward County’s canvassing board to reconsider its counting of three vote-by-mail ballots that had been rejected but then approved.
Not quite Birthright. Rob Malley, the Biden administration’s special envoy for Iran, is in the Middle East for 10 days, meeting with officials in Israel, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He’ll return on Nov. 20.
A congressional delegation to Israel led by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) met with ambassadors from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan and Kosovo to discuss the Abraham Accords, according to a statement from Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who was also on the trip.
The group also met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, Palestinian students in the West Bank, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Brig. Gen. Shlomi Binder.
Portman expressed concerns to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during their meeting about Chinese investment in Israel, according to the statement.
The Ohio senator also met with former Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who has visited the U.S. twice in recent months to lobby against the reopening of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.
Politico published an internal strategy report from Jared Kushner’s Abraham Accords Peace Institute. The AAPI “will serve as a thought center and platform for new ideas and will convene public and private sector leaders for discussion, planning, and cooperation.”
The group aims to raise $3 million in its first year and will employ staff — a majority of whom have not yet been hired — to focus on each of the countries that normalized relations with Israel since last fall, as well as Jordan and Egypt.
Is Young Kim the future of the GOP?
Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) arrived in Washington last year under auspicious circumstances. The 59-year-old freshman — among the four Southern California Republicans who helped beat back the so-called “blue wave” of 2018 — placed first in an office lottery for new House members. She couldn’t help but notice a parallel: Former Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA), whom she had unseated, is also a lottery winner: He hit the Mega Millions jackpot more than a decade ago. “I joke about how, gosh, does that mean you have to be some sort of a lottery winner in order to occupy the California 39th Congressional [District] seat?” Kim said in a recent interview with Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel. “That’s a side joke,” she added. “I really hope that people choose their representative because they really believe that Young Kim can do the better job.”
Mapping the race: Kim, who is among the first three Korean-American women in the House, expressed confidence that voters will send her back to Congress. The rookie lawmaker seems well-poised to defend her title, not least because she has already raised more than $2 million. She also appears to have benefited from a new draft state House map that may tip the scales in her favor. While her district leans leftward, it now represents a significantly lighter shade of blue, as it currently stands. The map is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.
Bright future: Even without those favorable boundaries, Kim would likely be in solid shape for reelection as she has made inroads with Republican voters as well as independents and some Democrats. Lori Cox Han, a political scientist at Chapman University, describes the congresswoman as a moderate who has ably navigated the internecine politics of the Trump era. “She likes to say of herself that she’s the future of the Republican Party, and I think she’s been very smart about how she’s crafted this,” Han told JI, noting that while Kim has voiced disapproval of former President Donald Trump’s behavior, she has emphasized her favorable view of some policies, including a “pro-business” approach popular among the old-school fiscal conservatives of Orange County.
Eye on Israel: For her part, Kim is bullish about her prospects, even as she was eager to highlight what she describes as a steadfast commitment to bipartisan cooperation, which extends to upholding support for Israel among Democrats and Republicans. “Our relationship with Israel is very, very important, and we can find common ground and work on this in a bipartisan, non-political way,” Kim said. “I am not a fan of a ‘Squad’ of this, ‘Squad’ of that,” she added.
Georgia Republicans aim to undercut McBath, Bishop with proposed map
Georgia Republicans in the state Senate have proposed a congressional redistricting map that would all but assure the defeat of Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) and undercut Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) while shoring up freshman Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA), even as the state’s Democratic population grows,Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Moving boundaries: The proposed map would shift McBath’s district — which she won from Republican Karen Handel in 2018 — further north, away from the Atlanta area, pulling in more voters from conservative Forsyth County, Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, told JI. Bourdeaux’s district, which currently has a larger population than other Georgia districts, would shrink geographically, and become more Democratic. In southwest Georgia, Republicans are aiming to make Bishop’s district, which he has represented for nearly 30 years and which has been shrinking in population, more competitive by pulling in more Republican-leaning voters from north of the current district.
Tipping the scales: Fred Hicks, an Atlanta-based Democratic strategist, said that Bishop’s new proposed district would not be as much of a guaranteed pick-up for Republicans as McBath’s district, but would strengthen their hand. “By keeping as much of metro [Atlanta] out of the district and moving a little bit more to middle Georgia, then you’re putting a lot more Republican voters in there and you’re putting that seat at risk for the Democrats,” Hicks said. “It still leans [Democratic] but it’s a pick-up opportunity for Republicans.”
Short term: The potential GOP pick-ups may not be durable, however, given that in the last few election cycles Georgia has tacked to the left, particularly in the Atlanta metropolitan area. “Forsyth County, which is being appended to [McBath’s] district under some of the plans, has already peaked its capacity as Republican,” Bullock said. “Ten years from now it will have a lot more Democrats.”
Step one: The map proposed by the Republican Senate is just a preliminary one, Bullock noted, and the House could propose alternatives. “You may see some alternative views,” Bullock said. “There’s going to be one open seat, the 10th District, and you’d imagine that somebody in the House might say, ‘I’d like to try to design that so I could win that district.’ And that then might have some ripple effects.”
In U.N. vote on UNRWA, a return to the Obama-era approach
On Tuesday, the U.S. voted to abstain from a United Nations resolution supporting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the agency that provides assistance to Palestinians, rather than voting against it, as the Trump administration did. The position marked a return to the way former President Barack Obama’s administration had voted on the resolution, which affirms the work of UNRWA while also taking the position that Palestinian “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.”
Background: UNRWA has on multiple occasions been found to be distributing educational materials that promote the destruction of Israel and praise individuals who carry out attacks against Israelis. In April, a bipartisan group of House members introduced legislation that called for a State Department assessment of the U.N. agency’s educational materials.
Singling out Israel: In a speech at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, Ambassador Richard Mills, the United States’s deputy ambassador to the U.N., criticized the group of six pro-Palestinian resolutions put forward as a package. “We are disappointed that member states continue to disproportionally single out Israel,” Mills said at the time. “For this reason, the United States strongly opposes the annual submission of a package of resolutions biased against Israel.”
Why UNRWA is different: Mills said that while the U.S. voted no on the other five resolutions, the U.S. “returns to a position of abstention” on UNRWA. “Many members know, under President Biden, the United States announced it would restore its financial support to UNRWA, which we do believe is a vital lifeline to millions of Palestinians across the region,” Mills said. He called for more accountability and transparency into the U.N. agency, although such provisions do not appear in the resolution.
Missed opportunity: David Makovsky, director of the Koret Project on Arab-Israel Relations at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, called the vote a “missed opportunity” in comments to JI. “It is precisely an administration supportive of the group’s humanitarian mission that should give them the leverage to lead the road to reform,” said Makovsky. “The administration says it’s publicly committed to UNRWA reform, but there is no diplomatic body language that this is a priority for them in any tangible sense.”
Return to the status quo: Natan Sachs, director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, said the abstention is “a return, in the Biden administration’s eyes, to a status quo ante, even if the U.S. position on refugees in final-status negotiations, including under Obama, has been very different from the language of this resolution.”
🛢️Reaction from Riyadh: The Financial Times’s Andrew England looks at the rising price of crude oil, which he attributes in part to the reaction from Saudi officials to the Biden administration’s “coolness” toward Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “It is a dispute that underscores the complexities of the Biden administration’s relationship with one of the Arab world’s most important actors. Biden took office criticizing Saudi Arabia over the brutal 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi and other rights abuses; promising to reassess Washington’s relationship with Riyadh and freezing some arms sales. The administration also made it clear that, unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, Biden would deal with King Salman, not Prince Mohammed, the aging monarch’s son and day-to-day ruler.” [FT]
🤣 Laugh Track: In a wide-ranging interview with Jonathan Alter, comedian Susie Essman, who stars on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” reflects on why many comics have origins in Eastern Europe. “It’s the shtetl Jews, from the Pale [of Settlement]. The German Jews were much more assimilated. The great Borscht Belt comedians — the Jack Bennys and the George Burnses and later on the Alan Kings — were all the traditional outsider immigrant looking in. And also, in Judaism, there’s something about questioning. To be a learned person, you’re studying the Talmud and the Torah. And you’re always questioning it. My husband’s Catholic, where you do what the priests tell you to do. You don’t ask any questions. But in Judaism, you’re supposed to constantly analyze and question. That tremendously lends itself to comedy, don’t you think?” [Substack]
Around the Web
🖊️ Community Call: Twenty-one national Jewish organizations signed onto a letter to Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-ID), respectively the chair and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asking them to “swiftly fill” the position of envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism by “considering the current nominee,” Deborah Lipstadt.
👩🏫 Back to School: The Los Angeles Times’s Melissa Gomez looks at how instructors in California are teaching the soon-to-be-mandated ethnic studies curriculum in high school classrooms.
👨⚖️ Behind Bars: The suspect in the stabbing of Rabbi Shlomo Noginski in Boston in July was ordered held without bail until his trial.
🔥 Arson Attack: Police arrested an 18-year-old man from Texas who allegedly set fire to a synagogue in Austin on Halloween.
⚠️ Warning Label: The Department of Homeland Security re-upped its terror threat warning, citing the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as encouraging to terror groups including al Qaeda and ISIS.
🌊 Teamwork: The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Israel and the United States Naval Forces Central Command began their first joint naval drill this week.
🌎 Climate Calling: The United Arab Emirates has been tapped to host COP28, the United Nations’ Conference on Climate Change in 2023, according to a tweet by the office of the UAE special envoy for climate change.
📜 Court Ruling: American journalist Danny Fenster, arrested earlier this year in Myanmar and among dozens of detained journalists in the country, was sentenced to 11 years in prison by a military court.
✡️ The Race Goes On: Israeli Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai is reportedly in the running to head the Jewish Agency for Israel, as the deadline for the government to submit a candidate swiftly approaches.
🍨 Freezing Out? The Kof-K kosher certification agency may not renew Ben & Jerry’s certificate in light of the ice cream company’s decision to stop sales in what it referred to as “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
📱 Hack Job: A senior Palestinian Authority official said the NSO Group hacked the private phones of three high-ranking Palestinian diplomats.
👦 Custody Case: The Israeli relatives of a 6-year-old whose parents were killed in a cable car crash in Italy earlier this year filed an appeal against the ruling that he should be returned to relatives in Italy.
🕯️ Remembering: “Young and the Restless” actor Jerry Douglas, born Gerald Rubenstein, died at 88. Edward Sadowsky, a Queens legislator who served on the New York City Council for 24 years, died at 92.
Wine of the Week
JI’s wine columnist Yitz Applbaum reviews the Falesco Marciliano Kosher 2014:
“Whenever I sit with Elchonon, my longtime wine buddy, we typically end up consuming large quantities. Predictably, I always miss the following morning’s meetings. In our most recent bacchanal, we tasted the Falesco Marciliano Kosher 2014, which is grown in Umbria, an Italian region often overlooked by Tuscany snobs. This wine is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc. The two grapes battle each other in an epic war for dominance in the mid-mouth, while the front-tongue is marinated in vanilla overtones and the throat is coated with marmalade and hints of chocolate strawberries. Enjoy this wine within the next two years, and it pairs nicely with salty corned beef.”
Pic of the Day
Ronald S. Lauder, World Jewish Congress president, presents the Teddy Kollek Award to Maestro Itzhak Perlman during the World Jewish Congress 2021 Theodor Herzl Award Gala at the Museum of Modern Art this week in New York City.
SVP and general manager of MLB’s Minnesota Twins, Thad Levine turns 50…
FRIDAY: Professor of history at Columbia University, Carol Gluck turns 80… Author and senior fellow at USC’s Annenberg School, Morley Winograd turns 79… Accountant in Phoenix, Ariz., Steven M. Scheiner, CPA turns 79… Board member of the New York State Thruway Authority and former state senator, he is a descendant of Rabbi Shmuel Salant, the former Ashkenazic chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Stephen M. Saland turns 78… Sportscaster for NBC, Al Michaels turns 77… U.S. Senator (D-RI), Jack Reed turns 72… Attorney in Brooklyn, Bernard C. Wachsman turns 68… Member of the New York State Assembly since 2006, Linda B. Rosenthal turns 64… Author of young-adult fiction and winner of the National Book Award for Challenger Deep, Neal Shusterman turns 59… Author, journalist and former advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton, Naomi Rebekah Wolf turns 59… University of Chicago professor, he won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019, Michael Kremer turns 57… Mayor of Oakland, Calif., since 2015, Elizabeth Beckman “Libby” Schaaf turns 56… Rabbi of the Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest, Róbert Frölich turns 56…
COVID-19 response coordinator in the Biden administration, Jeffrey Zients turns 55… British journalist and political correspondent for BBC News, Joanne “Jo” Coburn turns 54… Former member of the Knesset for the Yisrael Beiteinu party, Robert Ilatov turns 50… Restaurant critic and food writer for the Boston Globe, Devra First turns 49… Israeli fashion model and actress, Nina Brosh turns 46… Former member of the Knesset for the United Torah Judaism party, Eliyahu Hasid turns 45… Actress and director, Jordana Ariel Spiro turns 44… Actress best known for her roles on “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” Kelly Kruger turns 40… Visiting assistant professor of Jewish studies at Oberlin College, Matthew D. Berkman, Ph.D. turns 37… Engagement strategy manager for the mayor of Detroit’s Office of Workforce Development, Spencer F. Lucker turns 34… New Jersey-based primary care physician and internet celebrity known as Doctor Mike, Mikhail Varshavski, DO turns 32… Activist and student at Cardozo Law School, Adela Cojab turns 25… Founder of Before[dot]dev, a job platform with the mission to end bias in the hiring process, Dave Weinberg…
SATURDAY: Israeli industrialist Gad Zeevi turns 82… Philosopher and professor at CUNY, Saul Kripke turns 81… Chief rabbi of Rome, Rabbi Shmuel Riccardo Di Segni turns 72… Publisher of the “Political Junkie” blog and podcast, Kenneth Rudin turns 71… U.S. attorney general, Merrick Garland turns 69… Israeli businessman Nochi Dankner turns 67… Former editor-in-chief of British Vogue and a strategic advisor to Atterley, Alexandra Shulman turns 64… U.S. senator (R-Alaska), Dan Sullivan turns 57… San Jose, California resident, Katherine Palkin turns 53… Somali-born activist who has served in the Dutch parliament, she is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Ayaan Hirsi Ali turns 52… Former Israeli government minister for the Shas party, Ariel Atias turns 51… Founder of Pailet Financial Services, a predecessor agency of what is now the Dallas office of Marsh & McLennan, Kevin Pailet turns 50… President and CEO at the Consumer Brands Association, Geoffrey Freeman turns 47… Member of the Knesset for the Yesh Atid party, Meirav Ben-Ari turns 46…
Television journalist, Jeff Rossen turns 45… President of baseball operations for MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, Andrew Friedman turns 45… Israeli rapper and record producer, known by his stage name “Subliminal,” Yaakov “Kobi” Shimoni turns 42… Judoka who won three national titles and competed for the U.S. at the Athens Olympics in 2004, Charlee Minkin turns 40… Senior director of policy and communications at Christians United For Israel, Ari Morgenstern turns 39… Political communications consultant, Jared Goldberg-Leopold turns 39… PR and communications consultant, Mark Botnick turns 37… Michael Schwab turns 35… Staff attorney for the ACLU’s voting rights project, Jonathan Topaz turns 32… Former relief pitcher in the Colorado Rockies organization, he pitched for Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, now an EMT in Los Angeles, Troy Neiman turns 31… Sales development representative at YieldX, Cole Deutch turns 23…
SUNDAY: Cellist and professor at Moscow Conservatoire, Natalia Gutman turns 79… Former professional bodybuilder who played for two seasons with the New York Jets, Mike Katz turns 77… Los Angeles businessman, community leader and political activist, Stanley Treitel turns 77… Retired member of the UK’s House of Lords, Baron Jeremy Beecham turns 77… Former British Labour party member of Parliament who resigned in 2019 in protest of Jeremy Corbyn, Dame Louise Joyce Ellman turns 76… Editor-at-large for Bloomberg View, Jonathan I. Landman turns 69… Democratic member of the New York State Assembly since 2001, Steven H. Cymbrowitz turns 68… Former U.S. secretary of state, now on the faculty of Stanford University and the director of the Hoover Institution, Condoleezza Rice turns 67… President of the Obama Foundation, Valerie Jarrett turns 65… Detroit-based communications consultant, Cynthia Shaw turns 63…
President of Middlebury College in Vermont, Laurie L. Patton turns 60… Partner at the Santa Monica-based law firm of Murphy Rosen, Edward A. Klein turns 58… Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor of political science at The George Washington University, Sarah A. Binder turns 57… Vice chairman of The Atlantic and managing director of media at Emerson Collective, Peter T. Lattman… and his twin brother, Brian Lattman, both turn 51… Member of the Colorado House of Representatives, Dafna Michaelson Jenet turns 49… Former deputy national security advisor in the Obama administration, Ben Rhodes turns 44… Head of public policy for North America at Airbnb, Joshua Meltzer turns 42… Law professor at Fordham University, Pamela Bookman turns 42… Chief of staff for the chair at Albright Stonebridge Group, Jacob Freedman turns 39… Founder of White Light Strategies, Lana Talya Volftsun Fern turns 35…