👋 Good Tuesday morning!
Multiple groups of lawmakers are using the Veterans Day recess week to take trips abroad, with more than a dozen legislators in or headed to Israel.
One such group includes Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). They attended a celebration for the Abraham Accords hosted by the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem’s Chargé d’Affaires Michael Ratney and visited the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.
Another delegation, organized by J Street, includes Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) — who organized a series of House floor speeches blasting Israel in May — as well as Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Melanie Stansbury (D-NM). The group met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid yesterday, who thanked them for supporting the replenishment of the Iron Dome missile-defense system.
The J Street group’s trip is split equally between meetings with Israelis and Palestinians, according to a J Street spokesperson.
The delegation met with Transport Minister Merav Michaeli, Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej, Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg, Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev, Deputy Defense Minister Alon Shuster and Deputy Economy Minister Yair Golan. They are also set to meet with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) is leading yet another delegation in Israel, Jewish Insider has learned.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a close ally of President Joe Biden who has acted as a foreign emissary for him, is also headed to Israel for talks with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other top officials about Iran nuclear negotiations and U.S. efforts to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem.
Lapid will meet on Wednesday with Coons and the Cardin-led delegation.
WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann will be interviewed today at 11 a.m. ET by Andrew Ross Sorkin at the annual DealBook conference. It’s Neumann’s first public interview since being pushed out of the company in 2019.
cowboy state politics
Backed by Trump, Harriet Hageman looks to unseat Liz Cheney
Even amid shifting intra-party dynamics within the GOP, Harriet Hageman believes that Republican voters in deep-red Wyoming are united against Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the leading exponent of anti-Trump conservatism in the House. Hageman, a trial attorney and GOP activist, describes encountering a growing well of anti-Cheney sentiment as she embarks on a bid to unseat Wyoming’s lone congresswoman. “Liz Cheney is not liked in Wyoming,” Hageman, 59, charged in an interview with Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel. “That’s why she doesn’t come to Wyoming.”
Revenge campaign: Hageman seems unusually confident about her prospects, and she has reason for optimism, thanks in large part to an endorsement from Cheney’s chief adversary, former President Donald Trump, who performed well among Wyomingites in 2020 and maintains strong support throughout the state. Hageman is no doubt banking on that good will as a leading foot soldier in the former president’s effort to enact vengeance against the 10 House Republicans, including Cheney, who voted for his impeachment last January.
Attendant baggage: Still, Hageman enters the race with some baggage, both as a former Cheney supporter and an outspoken Trump critic. In 2016, for instance, Hageman described Cheney as a “friend” and “proven, courageous, constitutional conservative,” while that same year participating in a failed effort to deny Trump the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Either way, Hageman said the former president is fully supportive of her candidacy. “I can assure you that he’s not worried,” she told JI.
Addressing antisemitism: Hageman was prepared to criticize one of Cheney’s biggest enemies in the House, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who earned Trump’s endorsement in 2020. On the House floor last month, Cheney called Greene a “joke,” alluding to her past suggestion that wildfires were caused by a space laser controlled by a Jewish banking family. Hageman claimed to have “just heard about” Greene’s comments. But she vowed to oppose such rhetoric if elected, even from members of her own party. “If they’re espousing antisemitic views,” she said, “hold them accountable.”
Irreconcilable division: Hageman and Cheney are fundamentally divided on the most salient issue in the race: the 2020 election. While Cheney is among the most outspoken critics of Trump’s baseless effort to cast doubt on the election results, Hageman refused to acknowledge that Trump had lost. “I think that there were some serious irregularities, especially in the swing states, and I think we need to get to the bottom of it,” she told JI. “I think we need to make sure that we have the integrity in the elections that we’re entitled to.”
Dana Cowin’s second course
For most Americans, early COVID-19 lockdowns meant plenty of free time, and three meals to fill each day without the possibility of going to restaurants. Home cooking became a near-universal hobby: First there was banana bread, and then sourdough starter. Former longtime Food and Wine editor Dana Cowin experienced this too. Used to elaborate nights out at the world’s best restaurants, Cowin was not an exceptional home cook. She published a cookbook in 2014 premised on the fact that she was, actually, a terrible chef. “I for one really needed shortcuts,” Cowin told Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch in a recent interview.
Broad offerings: To bolster her cooking and to support women entrepreneurs in the food space, Cowin created Giving Broadly, a website serving as a guide to, and one-stop shop for, products from female-owned brands. The site has a wide array of offerings, including Soom tahini from Amy Zitelman, jerk seasoning from Fauzia Abdur-Rahman and Masala Mama Indian sauces from Nidhi Jalan.
Supporting women: “Giving Broadly, which is all packaged products to make your cooking better, was a dream for me, trying to help these women and then putting it out in the world so that other people would be exposed to their stories and the food,” Cowin explained. Cowin has spent the five years since she left Food and Wine magazine helping promote and coach female chefs and creators. Giving Broadly was a spin-off from her podcast, “Speaking Broadly,” where she has interviewed diverse culinary figures like the American-Israeli cookbook writer Adeena Sussman and the Palestinian-American chef Reem Kassis.
Top tastemaker: Cowin has been described as “one of the country’s leading tastemakers,” and she described that process of spotting the next trend as “instinctive.” “I’m like, ‘Oh my god, this is gonna be the next thing,’” Cowin explained of her creative process. She can remember only one major miss in her career: vegan food. 20 years ago, she was asked about it: “‘The vegan food that’s not just straight, great vegetables is just awful. And I don’t see that gaining so much traction.’ And I was so wrong, obviously,” Cowin recalled.
Fan favorites: It’s sometimes a chore to get her family to care about New York’s hot restaurants. “My husband, not at all. He could not care less,” Cowin said. One of her college-age daughters “has a standing order of, ‘I have to go to Zabar’s,’ which is near us, to buy particular matzah balls, and their chicken broth, not just a standard chicken broth,” Cowin added. Other classic New York Jewish foods are family favorites — Russ & Daughters bagels, herring and cream sauce (though Cowin says that’s mostly her own guilty pleasure, not her family’s), rugelach, challah that’s “squishy.”
A triathlete runs (and swims, and cycles) to daylight
Yuval David Shimoni is literally running for his life these days. And swimming. And cycling. When he competes Friday in Israel’s first-ever Ironman triathlon, he will be continuing his slow but steady recovery from the psychological trauma he suffered following his harrowing experiences in the IDF, reports Jewish Insider’s Tamara Zieve.
Sports therapy: In his agonizing journey toward healing, one that took him to the brink of suicide, David Shimoni said, sport helped save him. The discipline required in an event like the triathlon provides him with positive challenges, gives him faith in himself and the strength to succeed through hard work and self-improvement. Regular therapy and a soldiers’ triathlon support group have also helped along the way. “I’m still in the process of returning to myself,” David Shimoni, today a therapist who is guiding others on their own paths to recovery.
Breaking point: During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, David Shimoni was called for reserve duty and his army unit entered Lebanon. The house where they were holed up was hit by two missiles, killing nine members of his unit and wounding several others. David Shimoni was physically unscathed. But he said that a some seven-hour wait for the rescue-and-evacuation force to arrive, and what followed, caused him deep psychological trauma that would manifest itself several years later. “After they evacuated the dead and the wounded, we were instructed to stay there. We were covered in blood, we had no food, no water and we didn’t know why we were staying — we hadn’t been given a new mission,” David Shimoni told JI. The long days that followed in Lebanon almost broke him.
No way out: After his unit returned to Israel, he thought “the nightmare was over.” He finished his university exams and took a flight to China, where he lived for several years. It was during that time that the flashbacks began, mostly coming to him at night. Shortly after, the anger attacks began and David Shimoni felt himself deteriorating. He returned home to Israel but he started isolating himself from his loved ones. He started taking psychiatric medication and sleeping pills. At some point, he started using drugs, first soft ones and then harder ones. He stopped working and the symptoms, the depression and the despair got worse, snowballing into acts of self-harm. David Shimoni was suicidal. “My romance with death started in the war. The answer became death,” he explained.
Running forward: Today, David Shimoni is not only healthy and happy, but helping others on their own paths out of depression to recovery. Crucial in his recovery process has been his involvement in a triathlon group, part of the Brothers for Life NGO that supports IDF veterans who sustained physical or psychological injuries as combat soldiers. He’s already completed two triathlons and sees the half Ironman in Tiberias, organized and hosted by the Tel Aviv-based Comtecgroup and the Sylvan Adams Foundation, as “the peak of the peak.” “It’s a great privilege to take part in the first Ironman in the country I fought and was injured for. It’s a double victory for me,” David Shimoni said.
☢️ Atomic Account: Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) suggests in the Wall Street Journal that President Joe Biden should include Congress in his attempts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by submitting a revamped accord to the Senate for approval. “President Biden now has a great opportunity. If he engages members of both parties in the Senate in the negotiating process with Iran, and agrees to submit a potential agreement for ratification by the Senate, he will restore bipartisanship to national-security policy and maximize the chances for an agreement that could end the Iranian nuclear threat.” [WSJ]
🤝 Playing Nice: In CNN, Carnegie Endowment Senior Fellow Aaron David Miller argues that despite diplomatic disagreements between the Bennett government in Israel and the Biden administration, the U.S. has no interest in exacerbating tensions, following Democratic losses in last week’s elections and ahead of upcoming nuclear talks with Iran. “The trouncing Democrats took this past Tuesday — when Republicans swept statewide elections in Virginia and showed better than expected in New Jersey’s governor race — has only deepened the importance of husbanding limited political capital and reducing the Biden administration’s exposure. Indeed, the last thing Biden wants or needs now is a fight with Israelis, Republicans and maybe even a few Democrats over Jerusalem. Instead, with the nuclear negotiations with Iran set to resume on November 29, Biden should keep his powder dry in the event those negotiations make progress and he encounters real pushback from Israel and those in Congress who oppose returning to the old nuclear deal without correcting its deficiencies.” [CNN]
👉 Coup Conspiracy: Henri Barkey, a professor at Lehigh University and adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, details in The Atlantic how he came to be falsely accused by the Turkish government of plotting a coup to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “The accusations have upended my life. They have lost me friends and professional contacts, as well as the ability to return to my homeland. But they have also taught me about how conspiracism works on a procedural level: how it starts, how it spreads, how it can turn the mundane suspicious and the innocent guilty.” [TheAtlantic]
Around the Web
💉 Unlikely Allies: In a 17-post Twitter thread about COVID-19 vaccinations, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said she had read the published works of the Nation of Islam and found “common ground” between the Republican Party and the group headed by Louis Farrakhan.
🎓 Campus Beat: A group of academics, writers and entrepreneurs including tech entrepreneur Joe Lonsdale and writer Bari Weiss, announced the launch of the University of Austin, a non-accredited learning institution focused on what its founders call “the intrepid pursuit of truth.”
☕ Cup of No: Starbucks is using a range of tactics — including a visit from former CEO Howard Schultz — to delay a vote to unionize by employees of three of its Buffalo, N.Y.-area stores.
🎧 Worthy Listen: On his podcast “The Diplomat,” Jason Greenblatt interviews Nadia Bilbassy-Charter, the Gaza-born Washington, D.C., bureau chief of Al Arabiya, about the shifting political climate in the Middle East.
🍔 Kosher Cheeseburgers: Investors are pouring money into vegan cheese startups, which entrepreneurs say are close to producing imitation dairy products that look, taste and melt like the real thing.
⚽ Tribe Adjacent: Actor Moe Jeudy-Lamour — known for his role on “Ted Lasso” — spoke to The Jerusalem Post about his upbringing in an Orthodox community in Montreal following his mother’s conversion to Judaism.
✍️ Tweet Storm: Twitter’s new hire to curate Middle Eastern news on the social media platform apologized after coming under fire from Jewish groups for her long history of antisemitic and anti-Israel tweets.
🇬🇧 Across the Pond: Somdeep Sen, a professor of Palestinian studies, canceled a lecture at the University of Glasgow after the school’s administration, at the behest of the Jewish student society, asked to vet the talk to ensure it complied with British anti-terror laws.
🚀 Testing Ground: U.S. military planners concerned about a potential attack from China are testing Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system in Guam.
🕵️ Surveillance Scandal: Israel is lobbying Washington to remove the NSO spyware company from its blacklist, arguing that its software is intended to combat terrorism and organized crime.
🖥️ Tech Tolerance: The Israeli cabinet approved a plan to grant 500 work permits over the next several years for Palestinians to work in the tech sector, as Israel contends with a labor shortage in tech jobs.
🙊 Nuclear Negotiations: As Iran prepares to return to the negotiating table in Vienna to hammer out a new nuclear accord, it is demanding assurances that the U.S. does not withdraw from a new deal.
👈 Blame Game: Iraqi officials accused an Iranian proxy militia of involvement in the recent drone attack against Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
🤔 Israeli Intellectual: The New York Times Magazine’s David Marchese interviewed Israeli thinker and author Yuval Noah Harari about his ideas and personal life.
🕯️ Remembering: Israeli-American writer and translator Stuart Schoffman died at 74.
Pic of the Day
Left: NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo at the White House yesterday celebrating the Milwaukee Bucks championship year with JI readers Alex Swieca and Sophie Lasry.
Right: Milwaukee Bucks’ owner Marc Lasry gifting President Joe Biden a jersey at a ceremony marking the team’s 2021 NBA championship.
Journalist and podcaster, he is the creator and host of “How I Built This” and “Wisdom from the Top,” Guy Raz turns 46…
Israeli novelist and playwright, she is the mother of Yair Lapid, Shulamit Lapid turns 87… British businessman and philanthropist, formerly chairman of Lloyds TSB, Sir Maurice Victor Blank turns 79… Professional baseball manager in the minor leagues and college, he managed Team Israel in 2016 and 2017, Jerry Weinstein turns 78… Israeli war hero and long-time member of the Knesset, Zevulun Orlev turns 76… Chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Cerrell Associates, Hal Dash turns 73… Chief innovation officer at World Media Networks, Daniel Ajzen turns 71… Mitchell Bedell turns 71… Former deputy national security advisor for President Donald Trump, Charles Martin Kupperman turns 71… U.S. senator (D-OH), Sherrod Brown turns 69… Senior producer at “NBC Nightly News,” Joel Seidman turns 67… Political consultant and founder of “No Labels,” Nancy Jacobson turns 59… Executive director of Los Angeles-based Remember Us: The Holocaust Bnai Mitzvah Project, Samara Hutman turns 59… Professor of journalism and media studies at Fordham University, Amy Beth Aronson Ph.D. turns 59… Partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis, Douglas C. Gessner turns 56… Partner at Covington & Burling and previously the assistant secretary of commerce for export administration during the Bush 43 administration, Peter Lichtenbaum turns 56… Founder of Clarity Capital and author of a 2018 book on the future of Judaism, Tal Keinan turns 52… Founding CEO of OneTable, Aliza Kline turns 50… Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court since 2015, Richard H. Bernstein turns 47… Israeli singer and actress, Maya Bouskilla turns 44… Co-founder and executive director of Future Now, Daniel Squadron turns 42… COO at BerlinRosen, David Levine turns 37… Singer, songwriter and rapper, Ari Benjamin Lesser turns 35… Chess grandmaster, Daniel Naroditsky turns 26… J.D. candidate at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Matthew Adam McCoy turns 25…