👋 Good Wednesday morning!
The Coons delegation included Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Scott Peters (D-CA).
Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), who was not listed in yesterday’s Daily Kickoff, is also part of the J Street delegation visiting Israel this week.
Pro-Israel America launched ads against some of the legislators who did not support the $1 billion supplemental funding legislation for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system. The organization recently posted videos targeting Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Reps. Marie Newman (D-IL), Cori Bush (D-MO) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).
The U.S. abstained from voting on a United Nations General Assembly resolution granting Palestinian refugees the right of return to Israel.
Looking to find common ground with American liberals, Israel’s deputy FM heads to D.C.
On social issues, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll is among the country’s most liberal political leaders. Openly gay, Roll, 37, is married to one of Israel’s biggest pop stars, Harel Skaat, and is the father of two children born via surrogate. This weekend, he will head to Washington with the goal of highlighting Israel’s liberal side in meetings with American legislators and Jewish groups, even as the diverse government he represents does not always see eye-to-eye ideologically with members of President Joe Biden’s administration, Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash reports.
Communicating a message: “I want to start a conversation,” Roll, who arrives in D.C. on Nov. 14, said in a briefing recently. “Israel is changing and, I believe, we are doing a much better job at promoting liberal values.” Roll, a member of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party and former head of its LGTBQ group, believes that despite claims Israel has grown increasingly conservative in recent years, its new, eclectic government “has a lot to offer the world…. We are making tremendous strides in the fight against the climate crisis, something that was overlooked for too many years. We are also doing many innovative things to promote LGTBQ rights and women’s rights… we just need to do a better job in conveying the things that we are doing,” said Roll.
Packed schedule: Roll will meet with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, representatives from the Washington-area Jewish community and students and rabbis, according to an individual familiar with Roll’s schedule. A spokesperson for Roll told JI that the deputy foreign minister will hold “meetings with high-ranking officials in the White House and State Department along with members of Congress from across the board,” but declined to name the legislators and officials with whom Roll is scheduled to meet.
Challenging task: Yossi Klein Halevi, a senior fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute, said that even though Roll represents Israel’s liberal flank, he might still struggle to find common language with some American liberals. “Israelis don’t realize how deeply the delegitimization of Israel has gone in certain circles, and for growing numbers of American progressives, it does not matter if you are an LGTBQ Israeli with impeccable social liberal credentials, the very fact you are from an ‘apartheid state’ places you beyond the pale,” Klein Halevi said.
meet the candidate
A North Carolina congressional candidate has a long history of anti-Israel activism
Nida Allam, a progressive activist and Durham County commissioner in North Carolina, announced her campaign to replace retiring Rep. David Price (D-NC) on Monday, touting her support for a litany of left-wing policy goals such as Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and a reduced defense budget. Allam has positioned herself as a vocal opponent of the Jewish state whose past statements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have drawn scrutiny that is likely to increase now that she is seeking federal office, Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel reports.
On tape: Last May amid escalating violence between Israel and Hamas, Allam participated in a pro-Palestinian rally where protestors chanted slogans such as “Israel is an apartheid state” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” the latter of which is widely considered to be a call to eliminate Israel. In a live video she posted to her Facebook page on May 22, Allam appears to have been chanting along with her fellow protestors, as the audio from the video suggests.
Activist history: In 2018, Allam signed a petition demanding that Durham’s mayor and city council “immediately halt any partnerships” between the Durham police department and Israel, alleging that “the IDF and the Israel Police have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of color.” That year, city council members voted unanimously in favor of prohibiting “international exchanges with any country in which Durham police officers receive military-style training,” including Israel. Jewish community members took issue with the controversial motion, which they alleged unfairly targeted Israel.
Competition: Wiley Nickel, a state senator from Wake County, is also vying to succeed Price in the House. The 45-year-old Democrat, who previously worked in the Obama administration, was the first candidate to jump into the race, in mid-October. Another possible contender is Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC), the first-term Greensboro lawmaker who is now stranded in decidedly conservative territory thanks to recent redistricting. Manning, 64, is facing long odds as she prepares for re-election, even as a radically redrawn House map has drawn at least one court challenge over accusations of partisan gerrymandering.
Arkansas governor talks self-driving delivery trucks, Iron Dome and a possible return to Washington
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson drew a direct line between the start-up nation and America’s biggest retailer, Walmart, on Tuesday, speaking at the international Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv and touring its innovation expo. “Something I am concentrating on is smart mobility, from autonomous vehicles to drone deliveries, which Walmart is also engaged in, and Israel has startup companies in all of those areas,” the governor told Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash on Tuesday. “One of the things I am taking back with me is how Israel has become a leader in innovation and invests in new technologies that benefit the entire entire world. We must invest more.”
Strong partners: Hutchinson, who arrived in Israel Sunday and met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Isaac Herzog, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli during his stay, told JI that the focus of his trip was on strengthening partnerships and learning from Israel’s booming technology and innovation sector. The governor toured the summit’s exhibition hall, viewing the latest in autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity software for automobiles, sharp-vision road safety cameras and delivery drones. He listened to pitches and collected business cards.
Guarding security: Hutchinson is well attuned to the issue of Israel’s security — Iron Dome batteries are produced at a facility in East Camden, Ark. Hutchinson, an evangelical Christian who has visited Israel three times previously, said he believes that supporting Israel is “a fundamental part of American culture, history and of the ties that we have between Judaism and Christianity… From a practical standpoint Israel is our strongest ally in this region, a very dangerous part of the world, and it is a friendship that helps keep America safe.”
Return to Washington? Hutchinson, who is term-limited and will leave the governor’s mansion in 2023, told JI that he definitely plans “on being engaged in the national debate, on the direction of my party, as well as our country” after completing his second term.
👨 New in Town: Time’s Charlotte Alter looks at the uniqueness of Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff’s position in the Biden administration, not only for the firsts he’s achieved but also for his lack of experience in the political arena — which sets him apart from many of his predecessors. “Few people get to inhabit the all-encompassing political machinery that surrounds the President and Vice President; fewer still experience it with fresh eyes, unjaded by decades of guarded politicking. In the span of just over a year, Emhoff has been thrust into an uneasy world of constant scrutiny and heightened security… Does Emhoff ever stop to wonder how a guy who is trying to get his wife to like Radiohead and named his fantasy football team ‘Nirvana’ became someone who’s surrounded by earpieced bodyguards and gets birthday gifts from the President of the United States? He smiles, blinks slowly and says in a low voice, ‘Every minute of every day.’” [Time]
📊 Survey Says: Politico’s Jack Shafer reflects on the use of polling in political journalism, following a number of elections in recent years in which data taken from surveying likely voters did not align with election results. “To be a journalist is to be a soothsayer, especially for political journalists, who speculate on everything from who stands to win the next election to what the chances are that a bill might pass to what the president might do next. Pollsters and political journalists use poll data to divine the future the way Doppler radar and satellite imagery is used for tomorrow’s weather report. You might find that comparison a stretch but both polling data and Doppler radar are nuggets of data used to predict future events. Neither polling predictions nor weather forecasts have ever been considered bulletproof. The same goes for stock predictions and sports odds. They’re born flawed.” [Politico]
✍️ Résumé Scrubbing: In the Washington Post, Jennifer Miller interviews the Gen Z prospective employees who are hiding their college activism as they actively job-seek in the real world, out of fear that their involvement in political groups will hinder career prospects. “After a surge of campus activism during the Trump years, a growing number of Gen Z job seekers are now discovering a downside to their political engagement. While employers say they are eager for diversity and advise applicants to ‘bring their whole selves’ to the job hunt, Mackenzie and some of her peers don’t trust them to look beyond ideology… So many young partisans are playing it safe, censoring political content from their résumés or limiting their job search to politically friendly bubbles.” [WashPost]
🗣️ Lasting Legacy: New York magazine’s Molly Fischer shines a light on the life and legacy of David Graeber, the academic and anthropologist whose views on anarchy and government hierarchy captivated readers from around the world. “Though he’d never sought to be a leader, he left behind a multitude of followers and fans, from artists to economists to Kurdish revolutionaries. They were people whose imaginations he had captured as a scholar and a teacher, as the public intellectual of the Occupy movement, and as the best-selling author of Debt and Bullshit Jobs, books that swept across eras and disciplines to offer scholarly provocation in layperson’s terms.” [NYMag]
Around the Web
🗳️ Keystone Fight: Celebrity physician Dr. Mehmet Oz is reportedly considering entering the open Pennsylvania Senate race as a Republican.
🗣️ New Normal: Moderate Democrats in swing districts are increasingly using the term “normal,” which Axios calls a “coded, loaded word exacerbating their divide with liberal colleagues” and a way to “distinguish themselves from activist colleagues they’re implying are abnormal and don’t speak for them.”
🤔 Hindsight: In an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at the DealBook Online Summit, WeWork founder Adam Neumann admitted to “multiple lessons and multiple regrets” that led to his ouster in 2019. Neumann also explained how growing up on a kibbutz led to the viral image of him walking barefoot in New York.
✋ Hostile Reception: Israeli Ambassador to the U.K. Tzipi Hotovely was evacuated from the London School of Economics on Tuesday night after pro-Palestinian activists reportedly harassed her and protested her participation in a debate team event.
🇮🇱🇯🇴 Mixed Messages: Jordan’s King Abdullah II met with leader of the Arab Israeli Ra’am party Mansour Abbas in Amman on Tuesday. The Jordanian Royal Court said the two discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but later said that statement was mistaken and they did not discuss diplomatic issues, according to reports.
🦄 Buying In: Comment-management and user-engagement platform OpenWeb, co-founded by Nadav Shoval and based in New York, Tel Aviv and Kyiv, announced it raised $150 million in a series E financing round.
👋 Public Split: Douglas Elliman Real Estate will spin off from Howard Lorber’s Vector Group to become a publicly traded firm.
💰 Big Business: BlackRock is brushing off criticism from an “anti-woke” watchdog group over its business with China and socially responsible investing.
🪦 Restoring History: A project undertaken by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia seeks to restore and repair damaged headstones in the city’s Har Nebo cemetery.
🏀 Big Hoops: Jon Scheyer, Duke’s incoming men’s basketball coach, is actively recruiting new talent for the Blue Devils before he replaces famed Coach Mike Krzyzewski next year.
🎬 Lights, Camera, Action: The New York Times spotlights Richard Klein, a Hebrew day school teacher who abruptly moved to Mumbai and became an actor in Bollywood.
🛒 Supermarket Strife: Israel’s business competition watchdog raided the headquarters of Shufersal, the country’s largest supermarket chain, over concerns that the stores had been offering discounted prices to Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community.
🗣️ Running Afoul: The independent Office of Special Counsel determined that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal law when he delivered a video message to the Republican National Convention from Jerusalem last year.
👮 Wanted Grandpa: Italy issued an international arrest warrant for the Israeli grandfather of 6-year-old Eitan Biran, the sole survivor of a cable car accident in Italy that killed his parents, after his grandfather took him to Israel against an Italian court’s order.
🐦 Bird Bites: Israeli officials have created an artificial feeding pond with second-rate fish for the tens of thousands of pelicans that migrate through Israel annually, hoping to direct the birds’ attention away from high-quality fish in Israeli fisheries.
📰 Changing Hands: Jacob Kamaras will take over as editor and publisher of the San Diego Jewish World, nine years after a chance meeting with outgoing editor Donald Harrison led to a friendship and in-depth conversations about the future of the Southern California news outlet.
🕯️ Remembering: Rabbi Earl Grollman, who counseled mourners in the aftermath of terror attacks and was a prolific writer on the topic of grief, died at 96.
Pic of the Day
A relative of victims of the Holocaust visits the Shoah Wall of Names Memorial after its inauguration ceremony in Vienna on Tuesday, the anniversary of Kristallnacht. The day was marked by events around the world.
At a ceremony in Berlin, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier noted the date’s significance in German history — Germany was declared a republic on Nov. 9, 1918, and the Berlin Wall fell on that day in 1989. “Nov. 9 is an ambivalent day, a bright and a dark day,” Steinmeier said. “It makes our hearts pound and brings tears to our eyes. It makes us hope for the good that is in our country, and it makes us despair in the face of its abysses.”
In Israel, President Isaac Herzog participated in the March of the Living movement’s “Let There Be Light” initiative. Messages from world leaders and Holocaust survivors against antisemitism and hatred were projected on the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and public buildings in Paris, Thessaloniki, Greece, Warsaw and Budapest.
Marking the anniversary, Pope Francis tweeted, “Let us commit ourselves to fostering an education in fraternity, so that the outbursts of hatred that would destroy that fraternity will not prevail. The threat of antisemitism still lurking in Europe and elsewhere is a threat that must be defused.”
Lyricist and songwriter who, together with her husband, won three Academy Awards for Best Original Song, Marilyn Bergman turns 92…
Retired aerospace and satellite engineer and a leading figure in the space-race era, Harry Dornbrand turns 99… Manager of the Decatur, Georgia-based Connect Hearing, Murray Kurtzberg turns 79… Former NBA player who became a lawyer and then a New York State judge, Barry D. Kramer turns 79… One of the four leaders of Yeshiva Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, N.J., Rabbi Yerucham Olshin turns 78… Professor emeritus of history at University of Nebraska at Omaha and a cofounder of the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society, Oliver B. Pollak, Ph.D. turns 78… President of the Illinois State Society of Washington, D.C., Howard Marks turns 77… Former CNN news anchor, Aaron Brown turns 73… Executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles, Raphael J. Sonenshein, Ph.D. turns 72… Executive producer and journalist at Holaro and The Muck-Rake, Howard L. Rosenberg turns 70… Chief administrative officer at the Legacy Heritage Fund, Elaine Weitzman… ESPN’s longest-tenured SportsCenter anchor, Linda Cohn turns 62… Bar-Ilan University Professor and social historian, Adam Ferziger turns 57… Senior rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, Ken Chasen turns 56… Former MLB right-fielder for 14 seasons, he founded Greenfly, a software firm for sports and entertainment organizations, Shawn Green turns 49… World and national security editor at Politico, Benjamin Pauker turns 46… Co-founder and CEO of Yelp, Jeremy Stoppelman turns 44… Executive director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, Shira Menashe Ruderman… Chief investigative reporter at ABC News, Josh Margolin turns 42… Global communications official for Bloomberg Philanthropies on public health, Jean B. Weinberg… YouTube personality with 346 million views, Josh Peck turns 35… Actress and producer, Zoey Deutch turns 27… Rabbi at Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach, Fla., Michael Simon…