👋 Good Friday morning!
Ed. note: The Daily Kickoff will be on hiatus for the week of July 4. We’ll be back in your inbox on Monday, July 11. Wishing you a happy Fourth of July!
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: Meet Israel’s next prime minister; How the top U.S. Nazi hunter intends to bring Russian war criminals to justice; Bill de Blasio says he no longer supports AIPAC and wishes Nina Turner was in Congress; Entrée’s Eyal pushed start-ups to raise cash quickly, slash expenses; An Emirati ‘majlis’ spreads out on the National Mall in Washington; Second annual Holocaust Survivor Day aims to show appreciation for a dwindling population; As cost of living rises, Israel’s latest tent protests fizzle out amid political chaos; and Aspen Ideas Festival convenes again, with philanthropy on the agenda. Print the latest edition here.
The Abraham Accords have prompted a “huge sea change” in Israel and the region, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who is currently leading a congressional trip to Israel, told Jewish Insider during a break in his schedule on Thursday. Gottheimer had last traveled to Israel prior to the pandemic.
Despite the current political turmoil in Israel, Gottheimer said the “message delivered was remarkably consistent” on issues including Iran, the Accords and Ukraine from leaders across the Israeli political spectrum.
The New Jersey congressman, who recently called for an “independent” investigation into the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, said that Palestinian Authority officials the group met with indicated they would be willing to turn the bullet that killed Abu Akleh over to independent investigators. Gottheimer said that “a country like the United States” would likely have to lead an independent investigation. The Biden administration has thus far resisted calls for a U.S.-led inquiry. Read more about the trip here.
mansour in the middle
Mansour Abbas’ political gambit
As the already turbulent Knesset neared a vote this week to dissolve itself, Arab-Israeli lawmaker Mansour Abbas, leader of Ra’am (United Arab List), sat calm and collected in his nondescript, sparsely decorated basement-level office. Even as the government he helped create and sustain through the past year collapsed around him, even as he now finds himself in the eye of the political storm — with Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, divided over the participation of an Arab faction in the national government — Abbas remains clear-headed and confident in his conviction that Arab-Israeli citizens must embrace their civic identity and seek representation in Israel’s leadership, Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash reports.
Partnership for good: “On one hand, it’s the fundamental right in every democracy,” Abbas told JI on Tuesday. “On the other hand, the Arab community has real needs that were not dealt with by previous governments, and Arab Knesset members did not have any influence to deal with those problems.” It is on the latter point that Abbas, 48, has focused over the past year. Even as Jewish members of the government squabbled and quit, weakening the coalition and ultimately bringing it to collapse, Abbas, whose party represents the political wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, has worked diligently to improve the quality of life for Israel’s 1.9 million Arab citizens, roughly 21% of the country’s population. At the same time, he has made clear that Jews and Arabs must work together for the greater good of the country.
Political gamble: It was a political gamble. Never in Israel’s 74 years has an Arab party, let alone one comprised of Islamists, become part of the ruling coalition. And while Abbas and his faction have seen some success in tackling crime and securing funding for the community, it is the very act of being part of the government in the Jewish state that will now be examined and debated as Israelis head once again to the polls. On Thursday, legislators voted to dissolve the parliament and hold a general election — the fifth in less than five years — on Nov. 1. The outcome will depend, in large part, on whether Abbas has proved to his own community, as well as to Israeli Jews, that his unprecedented partnering experiment has been positive.
Continue to coexist: Michael Milshtein, head of the Palestinian Studies Forum at the Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, told JI, “The discourse within Arab society about this experiment is still ongoing. There is a reduction in crime and there are more budgets, but the most important impact is that the Arabs are now part of the circle of decision-making for the first time since 1948.” He said the importance of Abbas’ participation in the government was also important for Jews. “We can’t just look at the political discourse on whether this succeeded or not, we must also look at the broader reality and its impact on relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel – if he [Abbas] collapses, it will have much deeper implications on whether we can continue to coexist.”
Partnering despite disagreements: Abbas made clear that he is a willing partner for whomever Israel’s next leadership might be – if they accept him – including a government headed by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who currently leads the opposition. “My goal is to create a partnership that will make a difference,” he said, acknowledging that his decision to partner with Israel’s government pushed both communities – Jews and Arabs – out of their comfort zones. “It wasn’t comfortable for either of them to confront this question of partnership,” Abbas continued. “But in Ra’am we say that we do not need to agree on everything, we can have partnerships even with disagreements.”
Neo-Nazi publisher Andrew Anglin gives ‘forceful endorsement’ of Blake Masters’ Senate bid
Andrew Anglin, the neo-Nazi publisher of The Daily Stormer, one of the internet’s most notorious hate sites, announced his endorsement of Blake Masters in an enthusiastic blog post earlier this month, declaring that the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona “is getting better and better,” Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel reports. “I cannot give a more forceful endorsement, and I demand that anyone in Arizona (who is not some kind of known neo-Nazi or whatever) get in contact with his campaign and see what kind of help he needs,” Anglin wrote in a previously unreported entry, published June 9.
Background: The white nationalist agitator was gleefully responding to a recent viral incident, caught on video, in which Masters violently confronted a 73-year-old Democratic activist and former high school counselor, Peter Jackson, who had appeared at a local GOP event in Arizona’s Pima County wearing an anti-Trump hat and a Black Lives Matter T-shirt. While his ensemble drew the ire of those in attendance, Masters, 35, claims he lunged at the uninvited guest, who refused requests to leave, after seeing him “hit a woman in the jaw” — an allegation Jackson has denied. In his blog post days after the altercation, Anglin dismissed Jackson as “scum” and noted admiringly that Masters had “moved in to take care of business” when he grabbed the man’s neck and forced him to the ground, according to footage of the confrontation.
Ominous warning: “Anglin habitually uses The Daily Stormer to celebrate and encourage right-wing political violence,” Luke O’Brien, a journalist who investigates political extremism and has written extensively about Anglin, said in an email exchange with JI on Thursday. “He has a tepid blanket disclaimer on the front page of his site in an attempt to create legal cover for himself.” The comparatively tame entry in support of Masters, an author and venture capitalist now mounting his first bid for public office, “doesn’t mean much in a traditional sense,” according to O’Brien. “He’s not going to be turning out the vote… But it is notable for other reasons, especially in this context,” O’Brien explained. “Anglin is a bellwether for authoritarianism in America. He also tends to signal what the master plotters in the global anti-democratic movement have in mind to damage democracy.”
Anglin’ for Ohio: In his post, Anglin, expressed support for another protégé of billionaire tech investor and GOP donor Peter Thiel, J.D. Vance, the Hillbilly Elegy author who in May clinched the Republican nomination in Ohio’s hotly contested Senate race. (Thiel has donated some $13 million to Masters’ campaign.) “Peter Thiel’s losing streak is up,” Anglin proclaimed. “I don’t agree with everything the man endorses, and I don’t think he agrees with everything he endorses, but JD Vance and Blake Masters are going to change the entire game… Masters is better than Vance, frankly,” he said, noting that Masters is “married to a white women [sic] with sons despite some possibly questionable mannerisms, and now he’s dropping the red pills we all wanted to hear: the truth about the root of ‘America’s gun violence problem.’” (Vance’s wife is Indian American.)
CUNY chancellor bails on antisemitism hearing
In a fraught public hearing yesterday on antisemitism, New York City councilmembers clashed with administrators from the City University of New York (CUNY) system, whose chancellor withdrew from testifying ahead of the Thursday hearing, Jewish Insider’s Jacob Miller reports. The hearing, which had been delayed for weeks to accommodate CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez’s schedule, focused on allegations of antisemitism within the CUNY system and featured virtual testimony from CUNY administrators, including the school’s senior vice chancellor for institutional affairs, Glenda Grace; vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management, Denise Maybank; and Graduate Center President Robin Garrell.
Law school decision: Under scrutiny for its handling of antisemitic incidents across its 25 campuses, CUNY came under fire when its law school faculty and law school student government association endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. In the wake of that decision, Brooklyn Councilmember Inna Vernikov withdrew $50,000 of funding earmarked for CUNY Law.
No show: Vernikov, who led the hearing alongside Bronx Councilmember Eric Dinowitz, denounced what she called Matos Rodríguez’s “cowardly” decision to skip the hearing, saying, “What a sham, what an insult to the Jewish community of New York.” She added, “Him not showing up is actually perpetuating the antisemitism that we’re talking about here.” Matos Rodríguez’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
On the record: At one point during the hearing, Maybank gave mixed signals about CUNY’s stance on the BDS movement, first refusing to denounce the global effort, and then subsequently backtracking, saying “we think [the BDS movement is] wrong… that to me is denouncing.” CUNY also admitted to not logging antisemitic incidents occuring on its campuses, and said that students who deface a campus with a swastika are not automatically expelled. When prodded about whether discriminating against Zionist Jews is antisemitic, CUNY administrators demurred. “I would look at what our policy says and if someone is acting against someone because of a protected status and treating them differently, then it would be discrimination harassment,” said Maybank.
UDP spends nearly $1 million to boost Stevens, ups spending in Edwards-Ivey race to $3 million
The United Democracy Project, an AIPAC-linked super PAC, announced on Thursday that it had spent nearly $1 million in the increasingly bitter Democratic primary between Reps. Haley Stevens (D-MI) and Andy Levin (D-MI), as well as an additional $1.1 million opposing former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) and supporting her opponent, Glenn Ivey, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Michigan matters: In a filing with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, UDP disclosed that it has spent $911,000 in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, where it is supporting centrist Stevens in her primary race against progressive Levin, and $888,000 in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, where it’s supporting state Rep. Adam Hollier in a crowded Democratic race.
Ad analysis: Two of UDP’s ads highlight Stevens’ role in the Obama administration’s auto industry rescue efforts — including a clip from the former president commending her efforts. Another focuses on her support for abortion rights. In its ads supporting Hollier, the group touts the state legislator’s background as a volunteer firefighter and Army reservist. Another version of the ad aims to tie Hollier to the state’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer.
Next level: UDP’s most recent filing also revealed that the group has now spent nearly $3 million in its efforts to oppose Edwards and support Ivey, a former Prince George’s County state attorney. In addition to the ads it had run criticizing Edwards, whose votes in Congress on foreign policy issues drew the ire of some in the pro-Israel community, the group also launched an ad supporting Ivey that focuses on his work as a prosecutor.
🎯 On Target: In Foreign Policy, the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka explores Israel’s use of targeted assassinations, in the wake of a series of attacks targeting Iranian officials and scientists. “Targeted killing has become a tool of statecraft because it works, in the sense that it achieves the limited goals prescribed: A key individual, critical to an enemy’s agenda, is gone. It will not end Iran’s nuclear weapons program, but it can slow it down. It will not end Iran’s missile program, but it will cause many Iranians who might have signed up to think twice about the risks. Nor will it end terrorism. But it may stop other killings; indeed, there is evidence that eliminating key individuals has had just such an effect. Does targeted killing solve major foreign-policy challenges? Rarely. Then again, from Israel’s perspective, diplomacy has also failed to unravel its thorniest problems. Rather, Israel’s remarkable prowess in overt and shadow wars has — perhaps counterintuitively — helped persuade both its neighbors in Egypt and Jordan and its new friends in the Gulf of the wisdom of setting aside old differences.” [FP]
🎶 Cohen’s Chords: New York Times film critic A.O. Scott previews the new documentary “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song,” which follows the trajectory of Cohen’s most famous song from its infancy to worldwide acclaim. “The directors, Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine, wrap a circumspect biography of the singer — loaded with archival footage and interviews with sundry friends and admirers, including a rabbi and a Canadian government official — around the story of the song. It’s quite a story. ‘Hallelujah’ took something like seven years to finish — Cohen’s own estimates varied. Larry Sloman, a music journalist who knew Cohen well and interviewed him often, surmises that there may be as many as 180 verses, starting with the one everybody knows. By now, we’ve all heard about the secret chord that David played, and it pleased the Lord.” [NYTimes]
Around the Web
💰 Back In: The State Department funding bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee includes a waiver provision that would allow the U.S. to reenter UNESCO, which it left during the Trump administration.
🛬 Turkey Talk: President Joe Biden voiced his support for a sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, days after Ankara allowed Finland and Sweden to join NATO, a move it had previously opposed.
🍦 Cold Shoulder: Shortly after Unilever reached an agreement to sell its Ben & Jerry’s operation in Israel to Israeli ice cream manufacturer American Quality Products, the ice cream company spoke out against the conglomerate’s decision.
💸 Money Trail: The New York Times explores the controversial origins of the wealth of German art patron Julia Stoschek, whose great-grandfather, Max Brose, was a member of the Nazi Party whose factories manufactured materials for the German Army using, in part, forced labor.
⚖️ In the Courts: A Brooklyn man was charged with a hate crime for the April assault of a Jewish activist draped in an Israeli flag in Midtown Manhattan.
📚 Crude Comparison: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador doubled down on comments made earlier this week in which he had compared a prominent Mexican Jewish writer to Adolf Hitler.
📝 New Label: New Zealand added far-right American organizations the Proud Boys and the Base to its list of terrorist organizations.
☢️ Dim Outlook: An E.U. official said that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program “might not make it” to completion following failed talks this week in Qatar.
Pic of the Day
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (second from right) and Kraft Group-International President Dan Kraft (right) at the unveiling earlier this week of the Kraft Family Sports Center at Gan Sacher Park in Jerusalem.
Co-creator of the “Seinfeld” television series and creator of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” comedian and producer Larry David turns 75 on Saturday…
FRIDAY: Former U.S. assistant secretary of education, Diane Silvers Ravitch turns 84… Nobel laureate in economics for 1997 and co-creator of the Black-Scholes model for valuing options and other derivatives, Myron Scholes turns 81… Noted British art dealer and founder of an eponymous London art gallery, Victoria Marion Miro turns 77… Born in a DP camp to her Holocaust survivor parents, she was the first Jewish woman to serve on the Canadian Supreme Court, Rosalie Silberman Abella turns 76… Former U.S. ambassador to Israel and assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, now at the Council on Foreign Relations, Martin Indyk turns 71… Partner in the Century City-based law firm of Greenberg Glusker, Douglas E. Mirell… Hall of Fame player and coach in the Women’s National Basketball Association and now an NBA broadcaster, Nancy Lieberman turns 64… Attorney and longtime Democratic activist in Pittsburgh, Steven Irwin turns 63… National editor at The Forward, Rob Eshman… President of the Orthodox Union and a partner at Ropes & Gray, Mark Irwin “Moishe” Bane… Under secretary of state for political affairs, Victoria Jane Nuland (family name was Nudelman) turns 61… Journalist, filmmaker and educator, he is the co-founder of Aish[dot]com, Shraga Simmons turns 61… Professor of Jewish thought at Hebrew University, Benjamin Brown turns 56… Member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Marcus Bertram Simon turns 52… U.S. senator (R-IA), Joni Ernst turns 52… Screenwriter, producer and film director, Marc Silverstein turns 51… Los Angeles resident Adam B. Siegel… NASA astronaut, on her 2019 trip to the International Space Station she took socks with Stars of David and menorahs, Jessica Meir turns 45… Co-founder of Edgeline Films, Elyse Steinberg…
SATURDAY: Former president of the Canadian Jewish Congress and professor at York University (Toronto) specializing in the history of the Jews in Canada, Irving Abella turns 82… Director of Hebrew Studies (Emerita) at HUC-JIR, Rivka Dori… Nobel laureate in Medicine in 2004, he is a professor at Columbia University and a molecular biologist, Richard Axel turns 76… Swedish author and screenwriter, she wrote a novel about Jewish children who escaped the Holocaust, Annika Thor turns 72… Former CEO of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, she also served as the State Department’s special envoy on antisemitism, Hannah Rosenthal turns 71… Montclair, N.J.-based philanthropic consultant, Aaron Issar Back, Ph.D. turns… Israeli Druze politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the Kulanu and Kadima parties, Akram Hasson turns 63… Member of the Knesset for the United Torah Judaism alliance, Ya’akov Asher turns 57… Chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, Peter E. Baker turns 55… Reading specialist at Wayne Thomas School in Highland Park, Ill., Stephanie Rubin… Co-founder and rosh yeshiva at Mechon Hadar in Manhattan, Shai Held, Ph.D. turns 51… Global industry editor for health and pharma at Thomson Reuters, Michele Gershberg… Motivational speaker, media personality and CEO at The Ayven Group, Charlie Harary turns 45… Author of fiction and non-fiction on a variety of Jewish topics, Elisa Albert turns 44… Israeli journalist, TV anchor and popular lecturer, Sivan Rahav-Meir turns 41… Actress, singer and producer, Ashley Tisdale turns 37… Actress and internet personality, Barbara Dunkelman turns 33…
SUNDAY: Civil rights attorney, Gloria Allred (born Gloria Rachel Bloom) turns 81… Winner of the Israel Prize in 1998, professor of mathematics at both Hebrew U and Rutgers, Saharon Shelah turns 77… Founder of an eponymous charitable foundation, Barbara Fish Lee turns 77… Lead educator at March of the Living, Leon Weissberg… Psychologist and board member of many non-profit organizations, Dr. Gail Bendheim… Regional sales manager at AIPAC, Suzanne Greene… Pini Herman…