👋 Good Monday morning!
The “Negev Summit,” a gathering hosted by Israel of the foreign ministers of six nations — Israel, the U.S., the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt — kicked off in Sde Boker on Sunday and carried into Monday morning.
The summit comes as Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning.
U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who attended the history-making summit, also met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday.
Two Israeli Border Police officers were killed Sunday night in a terror attack, later claimed by ISIS, in Hadera, Israel. Two attackers were subsequently shot and killed by off-duty counter-terrorism officers who happened to be in a restaurant nearby. The shooting, which occurred as summit leaders were getting ready to meet, was the fourth attack in several weeks across Israel.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid addressed the attack at the conclusion of the Negev meeting, telling the gathered ministers, “Shortly after this attack, Islamic Jihad and Hamas praised it. They declared that it was a response to the Negev Summit that we are holding here. The terrorists’ goal is to intimidate us. To make us afraid to meet and build the relationships and agreements between us. They will not succeed. We will not let them.”
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister, referenced the attack during the conclusion of his remarks at the summit. “It’s by us standing together, it’s by our people-to-people relationship, it’s by creating a better environment for our businesses to work together. That’s the way we can go after the narrative of hate, of incitement, of terror. We will prevail, no doubt about it.”
Our eJewishPhilanthropy colleagues report today and tomorrow from Palm Beach, Fla., where the first in-person Jewish Funders Network conference since the start of the COVID pandemic is taking place. The impact of the pandemic looms large over the three-day meeting.
In an address at the plenary session of the conference, JFN CEO Andrés Spokoiny focused on “a crisis… of potentially devastating consequences,” born of the pandemic, in the Jewish community. He called for Jews to unite around areas of broad consensus — what he called “a coalition of the sane” — when it comes to Jewish advocacy and the fight against antisemitism.
For more updates on the conference, sign up for eJP’s Your Daily Phil newsletter here.
Jared Moskowitz wants to succeed Ted Deutch in South Florida
Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz, the first and so far only Democratic candidate to enter the race for the 22nd Congressional District seat, is eager to cast himself as Rep. Ted Deutch’s (D-FL) natural successor, pledging to carry on two of the South Florida congressman’s top issues — Mideast policy and gun control, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Background: “Serving at the federal level is something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid,” Moskowitz told JI in a recent interview. “With the challenges we’re facing as a country, both internally and externally, I want to be in the room helping make those decisions for my community in the state of Florida and the country.” Prior to his current post, the 41-year-old Moskowitz represented Coral Springs in the Florida House and was the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management from January 2019 to April 2021.
Line of attack: Should other Democrats enter the race, Moskowitz is likely to face scrutiny and criticism for his ties to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who appointed him to his roles at Emergency Management and the Broward County Commission — already a source of suspicion for some Democrats. Former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), who endorsed Moskowitz, lauded his Democratic credentials, saying he should be “judged on his performance, his record, his beliefs. And there’s nothing more dangerous than guilt by association” saying he has “not… even a remote concern.”
Running deep: Moskowitz, whose father was prominent attorney, Democratic fundraiser and AIPAC activist Michael Moskowitz, said he grew up “in Democratic diapers.” Moskowitz’s family history also plays a central role in the aspiring congressman’s support for Israel. Several of his ancestors were killed in Auschwitz or in pogroms in Poland, and his grandmother and great-aunt were both part of the Kindertransport out of Germany. “When I was young, my parents wanted me to understand the history of the Holocaust and why it was important, and then transitioning into why Israel was so important to have a Jewish state because of what had happened,” he said.
In action: Moskowitz rattled off a long record of pro-Israel policies from throughout his time in elected office, including serving as a lead sponsor of Florida’s anti-BDS legislation, a resolution condemning UNESCO’s posture toward Israel and a resolution in support of former FBI agent Bob Levinson, who was held captive by Iran. He also traveled to Israel with DeSantis in 2019, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with an Israeli counterpart during the visit. “[Israel] is not an issue that I just started caring about because I’m running for Congress, unlike some other people who may jump into this race,” he said. “This is something that’s been part of my fabric — this is something that Ted Deutch and I have been talking about since I was 20 years old.”
Stamp of approval: Although he has not endorsed Moskowitz, Deutch — who was tapped to lead the American Jewish Committee following the retirement of outgoing CEO David Harris later this year — praised the congressional hopeful in a statement to JI. “The U.S.-Israel relationship is personal to Jared, and he understands the importance of standing up and speaking out in support of Israel,” Deutch said. “I’m honored that he turns to me for guidance on these issues that matter so deeply to my constituents.”
Quotable: “When I mean I’m going up there and [Israel] is one of my core issues, it’s not just to have a voting record. It is to be that outspoken voice,” Moskowitz continued. “There are big shoes to fill with Ted Deutch. No one is going to fill those shoes on day one. But I think I’m most positioned and poised to fill those shoes in due time.”
Chuck Edwards walks a fine line in challenge to Cawthorn
Chuck Edwards, a Republican state senator in Western North Carolina, readily acknowledges that he once had high hopes for Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), the freshman congressman who emerged from relative obscurity last election cycle to become the youngest House member in at least several decades. “I had supported Congressman Cawthorn,” Edwards, 61, said in a recent interview with Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel. “I had introduced him to friends. I had made contributions to his campaign. And I wanted to see him be successful.”
Change of heart: But Edwards says he has lost faith in Cawthorn’s ability to govern now that he is mounting a primary challenge against the 26-year-old GOP firebrand in North Carolina’s newly drawn 11th Congressional District. “I feel that Western North Carolina can do better,” Edwards said of Cawthorn, who has almost continuously drawn controversy for his extreme right-wing rhetoric since he assumed office in 2021, most recently for comments in which he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug,” drawing sharp rebukes from fellow party members. “Right now, the U.S. House floor is not a training camp for folks to learn how to lead legislatively.”
Balancing act: Edwards has been a vocal critic of Cawthorn’s behavior for the better part of a year, but in conversation with JI, he was relatively cautious in assessing the congressman’s first term. “I want to stay focused on what my campaign is about,” Edwards said, “and allow the voters to compare Congressman Cawthorn’s record to my record.” Such hedging underscores the unique balancing act Edwards now finds himself navigating as he goes up against Cawthorn, who appears to remain popular with the Trump wing of the party.
Eye on the Middle East: Edwards suggested that his experience as a state legislator, as well as a businessman, makes him a more qualified candidate than Cawthorn. But he was somewhat less well-versed on foreign policy. While he touted his support for Israel, he was unclear on the details of the Iran nuclear deal that Trump abandoned in 2018. He also said he was “not familiar with the details” of the Biden administration’s efforts to renegotiate a nuclear agreement with Iran. “What I can say is that we need to stand strong and insist that Iran not be able to advance their nuclear technology.”
Addressing antisemitism: Edwards said he would “stand up against antisemitism” in the House, noting that he had already taken such action as a state senator. Cawthorn, for his part, introduced a resolution last July condemning the uptick in antisemitic violence that followed the Gaza conflict. But his relationship with Jewish constituents in the district has been strained, thanks in part to an old Instagram post in which he appeared to glorify Adolf Hitler, whom he described as “the Führer,” during a visit to the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s mountain chalet. “I can tell you,” Edwards emphasized, “that I have absolutely no desire to visit the Eagle’s Nest.”
Meet the UAE’s unofficial business ambassador
Emirati investor Sabah al-Binali is a seasoned financial services executive, but 18 months after the Abraham Accords, he is adding another, albeit informal, role to his already impressive portfolio: business ambassador. “People call me for advice from both sides,” al-Binali, partner and executive chairman of OurCrowd Arabia, one of the largest global venture investing platforms based in Jerusalem, told The Circuit‘s Ruth Marks Eglashof his work connecting Israeli and Emirati companies.
Finding synergy: “I know I’m generalizing here, but Israelis have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and are quick decision-makers, while in the UAE, you have good, long-term strategic thinking,” said al-Binali, adding, “If we can synergize this fast-decision-making entrepreneurial spirit with the thoughtful, strategic thinking, then it could be the best partnership in the world — it could be unbelievable.” Finding a way to bridge these contrasting business styles is exactly what al-Binali, who took up the position of executive chairman just a few weeks after the normalization agreements were signed in September 2020, is trying to do for OurCrowd and for the Abraham Accords.
Dispelling myths: In August 2020, when he first began talking to OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved about taking on the unprecedented role, al-Binali told him, “If you’re going to have this view that you go to the UAE to raise money, then I am the wrong person for the job, and you’ll probably not raise even one cent.” “I think we’ve got to get away from this fantasy that the opportunity here is money coming from the UAE and technology coming from Israel,” Binali continued. “Israeli startups are drowning in money and so, you know, without being cynical, if that’s what people are looking at as the opportunity, I believe, they will be disappointed.”
Common ground: Instead, he said, the countries can be mutually beneficial to one another on multiple levels. al-Binali believes that Israel and the UAE can serve as a gateway for one another. The Emiratis, who are active in Africa and Southeast Asia, can open up new markets for Israel. And Israel’s close ties with the U.S. are attractive for Emirati companies. On another level, the two markets can become a testing ground for new innovation. Al-Binali points out that similarities in size and scale between the two Middle Eastern states makes them ideal partners.
Great opportunities: “Of course, there is potential for disagreements and working together is still a challenge, but I also believe there are some great opportunities,” concluded al-Binali, pointing to global events such as changes in the U.S. equity market, growing inflation and the Russia-Ukraine war. “You’re going to see contraction, but on the flip side oil has just gone through the roof, which means the coffers of the sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf will be filled out, and there’ll be pressure on them to expand their investment programs.”
Flourishing: Trade and investments between the two countries are already flourishing, reaching over $600 million within the first year. In September, Emirati Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri predicted that economic activity with Israel could reach more than $1 trillion over the next decade.
🇮🇷 Sanctions Regime: The Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian argues that the Biden administration — as it mulls removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Foreign Terrorist Organization designation — should sanction IRGC members and entities, while enforcing U.S. court judgements against Iran. “If the Biden administration indeed intends to remove the terrorist designation, it should immediately follow with policies targeting specific elements of the IRGC known to be directly involved in acts of terrorism, as should have been done long ago. Trump’s zero-sum policy of undoing all of President Barack Obama’s work led us into this mess with Iran. Trump’s haphazard exit of the original nuclear deal was the obvious example. Biden shouldn’t make the same mistake by simply reverting to pre-Trump policies on Iran. Completely delisting the IRGC risks doing just that.” [WashPost]
👪 Immigration Nation: In the Financial Times, Neri Zilber looks the effects of the influx of Ukrainians coming to Israel amid the Russian invasion of the Eastern European country. “With its 200,000-strong Jewish community, there are deep cultural links between Ukraine and Israel, and Israeli officials estimate that up to 50,000 Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian refugees may arrive in the next three months, with potentially double that number by the end of this year. It would be the largest single wave of immigrants entering Israel since the 1990s when more than a million Jews moved to the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union.” [FT]
Around the Web
🪙 Nickel Notes: Amid a global nickel shortage exacerbated by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine — Russia supplies a fifth of the world’s nickel supply — The New Republic’s Walter Shapiro reflects on his uncle’s efforts to sell more than 200 tons of fake nickel to the Nazi regime.
✈️ Sky Suit: A group of Orthodox American students are suing Delta and KLM, which they alleged discriminated against them by refusing to allow them to board a New York-bound flight home.
🗣️ Controversial Pick: New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed a commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs who has made derogatory comments about the city’s Jewish community.
⛔ Cancelation Consideration: In “Common Sense,” writer Eve Barlow explores her own experience with cancel culture.
👩 Trumpy Turn: The New York Times looks at Rep. Elise Stefanik’s (R-NY) rise to GOP conference chair as the party debates its future.
🧵 Runway Ready: Vogue spotlights South Africa-born fashion designer Daniella Kallmeyer.
🎙️ Podcast Plans: The public radio show “On Being” will transition to a seasonal podcast series after nearly 20 years on the air.
⚓ In the Works: Israeli’s envoy in Manama said that Israel will soon deploy a fleet to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet HQ, based in Bahrain.
🤝 Mideast Meetup: Skeikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the ruler of Dubai, met with Masrour Barzani, the prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan.
👟 Runner’s World: Valentyna Veretska, who fled Ukraine after the Russian invasion last month, won the Jerusalem Marathon on Friday.
Pic of the Day
Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, clasp hands at the conclusion of their summit meeting this morning in Sde Boker, Israel.
Expert on the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, supporter of women’s health issues and wife of former U.S. senator and VPOTUS-candidate Joe Lieberman, Hadassah Lieberman turns 74…
Professor emeritus of physics at MIT, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics, Jerome Isaac Friedman turns 92… Chairman and CEO of the Hartz Group and Hartz Mountain Corporation, Leonard Norman Stern turns 84… Israeli electrical engineer and business executive, he was the founder and first general manager of Intel Israel and the inventor of the EPROM chip, Dov Frohman turns 83… Glenview, Illinois, resident, Genie Kutchins turns 72… CEO of Los Angeles-based toy company MGA Entertainment (maker of Little Tikes and “Bratz” and “Lalaloopsy” dolls), Isaac Larian turns 68… Former member of the Knesset and leader of the Israeli Labor Party, Shelly Yachimovich turns 62… Diplomatic counselor to the secretary general of the OECD, James Phillip Rubin turns 62… One of four hostages held at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Jeffrey R. Cohen turns 58… Presidential historian and former White House Jewish liaison and deputy HHS secretary, Tevi Troy turns 55… President and CEO of Hillel, Adam Lehman turns 55… Film producer and director, Brett Ratner turns 53… Journalist, crime writer and blogger who has spent most of his career in Japan, Jake Adelstein turns 53… Israeli journalist and radio presenter for Reshet Bet, Keren Neubach turns 52… Author of eight best-selling novels including in 2003 The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger turns 45… Member of the Knesset for the Likud party, Makhlouf “Miki” Zohar turns 42… Los Angeles-based, Israeli-born fashion designer, Yotam Solomon turns 35… Retired MLB outfielder, Ryan Kalish turns 34… Director at Tradepoint Atlantic, a 3,300-acre global logistics center near Baltimore, Michael Hurwitz turns 34… VP of asset management at Hackman Capital Partners, Zachary David Sokoloff turns 33…