👋 Good Thursday morning!
A day after the Associated Press called the Democratic primary in New York’s 10th Congressional District for impeachment attorney Dan Goldman, state Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, who trailed Goldman by roughly 1,000 votes, said she will not concede “until we count every vote.”
Niou, who challenged Goldman from the left, has stoked speculation that she may consider running against Goldman in November on the Working Families Party line. Niou had received backing from the WFP during the primary, though Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) is listed on the ballot line. Jones has said he will not run in November on the WFP line, potentially freeing it up for Niou.
Recent reports revealed that the official booking site for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar omits Israel, and only includes a listing for “Palestinian Territory, Occupied.” While Qatar does not have official relations with Israel, a specialized system has been put in place to allow Israelis to attend the global soccer tournament.
“Omitting mentions of Israel or describing it as ‘Palestinian Territory, Occupied’ is not only inaccurate, but a clear attempt to appease those who harbor antisemitic, anti-Israel views and want to undermine Israel’s sovereignty,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who is also the GOP nominee for governor of New York, told JI. “This effort to dehumanize Israel needs to receive immediate pushback and condemnation from the United States and other participating allied nations. It needs to be made 100 percent clear that FIFA’s job is to run a soccer tournament, not cater to the delicate sensibilities of some of the worst actors in the region.”
Lapid says U.S., West ignoring own red lines to reach ‘bad deal’ with Iran
Israeli officials have ramped up their warnings this week against a return to the nuclear deal, with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid holding a press conference with international media based in Israel on Wednesday in which he emphasized that the U.S. and the West are ignoring their own red lines in order to sign “a very bad deal,” that will fail to curb Tehran’s efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash reports.
State of play: Lapid’s press conference came hours before the U.S. submitted its response to the latest proposal put forth by E.U. negotiators. The U.S. response was given to the Europeans, who in turn passed it along to Tehran. Iranian officials will now review the American response and give one of their own.
Capitulating to Iran: Lapid said that the new agreement, which according to media reports this week is close to being finalized, must not be accepted as it is currently written. “In our eyes, it does not meet the standards set by President Biden himself: preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear state,” the prime minister continued, accusing the U.S. and the West of capitulating to Iranian demands and being willing to reach an agreement at any cost. “This is not the first time this has happened,” continued Lapid, who replaced Prime Minister Naftali Bennett two months ago as Israel heads to another national election in November. “The countries of the West draw a red line, the Iranians ignore it, and the red line moves.”
Terror funding: Israel believes that the deal being formulated will remove key sanctions that have effectively crippled Iran’s economy, allowing an estimated $100 billion to flow into the country’s coffers. That money won’t go to schools or hospitals, Lapid said, but to “undermine stability in the Middle East and spread terror around the globe.” “This money will fund the Revolutionary Guards. It will fund the Basij [a paramilitary militia], who oppress the Iranian people. It will fund more attacks on American bases in the Middle East. It will be used to strengthen Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This money will go to the people who are trying to kill authors and thinkers in New York,” he said, referring to the recent attack on novelist Salman Rushdie, adding, “And of course, it will be used to strengthen Iran’s nuclear program.”
Urgent meeting: Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz will arrive in the U.S. on Thursday for meetings with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, as well as CENTCOM Commander Gen. Michael Kurilla.
In Yemen, an Iran-backed terror group lays low — for now
Months after Yemen’s Houthi rebels attracted international headlines due to a series of drone attacks on targets in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the geopolitical landscape in the Persian Gulf has shifted. In the past several months, the Houthis have all but disappeared from the international stage as a truce has held in Yemen, creating an impression of stability in the region, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports.
Shifting dynamics: Last week, the UAE announced that it would restore full diplomatic ties with Iran after years of tensions, a nod toward broader efforts in the Sunni Arab world to reconcile with Iran as a nuclear deal with the country and Western powers appears imminent. But the United Nations-mediated truce that has largely brought the Yemen war to a standstill is fragile, and a political resolution to the conflict remains distant, observers believe. The Houthis are closely connected to Iran, which has provided weapons to the rebels for years.
Fragile peace: “What’s happening with the truce is that, OK, it is broadly holding … but it’s very imperfect. It’s better than it was, but it’s really not perfect. There have been a lot of violations on both sides. I think the real fear is that the Houthis are using the opportunity to gather their forces [and] to build their strength,” Elisabeth Kendall, a senior research fellow at Oxford University, told JI. “It’s not going so well. In a sense, it’s going quite well for the Houthis because they hold more of the cards now in Yemen.”
Iran angle: John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, told reporters on Wednesday that ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran touch only on its nuclear program, not its malign activities elsewhere in the region, such as in Yemen. “This deal is about their nuclear weapons capability. That’s the primary effect. That’s the only focus of it,” Kirby said, noting that the deal will include sanctions relief. But, he added, “it does not abrogate, it does not reduce, it does not constrain us from holding Iran accountable for their other malign activities, to include their support for terrorists, and there are ample sanctions available to us, in fact in place today that will stay in place going forward.”
Separate issue: “Yemen is not part of the JCPOA negotiation talks,” a State Department spokesperson told JI on Wednesday. The spokesperson said the truce “is having real impact and delivering tangible benefits for the Yemeni people,” noting that “civilian casualties inside of Yemen are down by 60 percent,” and zero cross-border attacks have occurred since the truce went into effect.
Dan Goldman celebrates his ‘Jewish faith and values’ following NY-10 primary win
New York City’s one-man Jewish congressional delegation is poised to double in size following Tuesday’s primaries, when Dan Goldman won a crowded race for an open seat in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who is the city’s only Jewish House member, prevailed over a fellow incumbent, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), in a bruising contest. “My Jewish faith and values have inspired me to dedicate my career to public service, and I look forward to joining Congressman Nadler in Congress to represent the Jewish community in the city and country,” Goldman told Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel on Wednesday.
‘Common ground’: Goldman, a former Trump prosecutor, consolidated his position as the Democratic frontrunner thanks in part to dual endorsements from the editorial board of The New York Times as well as a broad coalition of Hasidic leaders in Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park. Goldman, 46, was heavily favored among Orthodox voters on election night, even if the neighborhood tilts conservative. “Dan is someone who appreciates the diversity of the city, and that includes the Orthodox Jewish community,” Simcha Eichenstein, a Democratic assemblymember in Borough Park, told JI. “I look forward to working with him on the issues where we find common ground.”
Tzadik Tzedek: Moshe Margaretten, an Orthodox rabbi in Brooklyn, said he supported Goldman with a bipartisan political action committee, Tzedek PAC, that is focused on criminal justice reform and other humanitarian issues. The group spent just under $30,000 on voter outreach initiatives, including an absentee ballot operation that targeted Orthodox residents of New York’s 10th Congressional District who were vacationing in the Catskills and Pennsylvania, according to a consultant who advised the PAC, Diana González.
‘Get the ballots in!’: Tzedek’s efforts concluded, González told JI, in a frantic rush to hand-deliver one last cluster of ballots just minutes before polls closed on Tuesday night. “We had someone bringing ballots in from the Catskills who got to the Board of Elections Office at 8:59 p.m. with 22 absentee ballots,” she said. “He had us on speaker and we were screaming at him, like, ‘Go to the front desk! Get the ballots in! Get the ballots in!’” González confirmed that the ballots were “just barely” delivered “on time,” and have yet to be counted.
Yiddishe kop: Richard Ravitch, the former head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority who briefly served as lieutenant governor of New York, is a Yiddish word used to describe a quality that had motivated his decision to endorse Goldman’s campaign last month. “Sechel,” he said, using a Yiddish word. “You know what ‘sechel’ is? Brains.”
🇷🇺🇮🇷 Ties that Bind:The Washington Post’s David Ignatius warns against the increasingly close ties between Moscow and Tehran as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine and Iran navigates nuclear talks. “For Russia, struggling to maintain momentum in Ukraine after six months of brutal conflict, the new Iranian assistance could be a game-changer, the intelligence officials warn. ‘This is not just a tactical alliance,’ explained one official. With China and India refusing to sell weapons to Russia, Iran could become an essential pipeline for weapons and money. ‘They know all the tricks in the book,’ in terms of evading sanctions, the intelligence official said of Iran. Iran can tap its existing infrastructure network of shell companies and other financial institutions in this sanctions-busting campaign. Iranian financial aid for Russia would be even easier if sanctions against Tehran are lifted as part of a renewal of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the intelligence officials warned.” [WashPost]
🖥 MAGA Media: Puck’s Tina Nguyen looks at how Ben Shapiro and Jeremy Boreing, who in 2015 founded The Daily Wire, have transformed the conservative news site into a profitable and expansive media operation whose revenue is more than double that of Axios. “Indeed, they were one of the earliest media organizations to recognize the potential of the ‘influencer’ model, positioning Shapiro as the company’s flagship brand, building up the profiles of lesser-known right-wing personalities, and creating a massive content stable around them. Unlike Steve Bannon or Alex Jones — oxygen-sucking megalomaniacs who couldn’t think beyond their own opportunities — Shapiro and Boreing essentially developed an arch-conservative culture war-stoking version of The Ringer, the audio-first sports and culture brand that Bill Simmons founded and sold to Spotify for nearly $250 million.” [Puck]
🤝 On the Mend: The Council on Foreign Relations’ Steven A. Cook analyzes the benefits of mended relations between Israel and Turkey. “For Israel, it has always been important to establish relations with non-Arab countries in and around the Middle East. Turkey is also important to Israel’s national security for, among other things, allowing closer Israeli intelligence monitoring of Iran. In addition, the Israelis hope that improved ties with Turkey will put pressure on Hamas, which has established a presence in Istanbul and run operations from Turkey over the last decade.” [CFR]
Around the Web
🎯 Safety Measures: U.S. Central Command said that the American strikes on Iran-backed groups in Syria on Tuesday were “necessary to protect and defend U.S. personnel.” On Wednesday, three U.S. service members were injured in an attack directed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
🇺🇳 Veto Threat: The Biden administration advised the Palestinian Authority against seeking full U.N. membership, saying the U.S. will veto any such bid.
🚸 Border Crossing: The U.S. is urging Israel to stay true to its promise to ease passage for Palestinians crossing the Allenby Bridge from the West Bank.
🏃 Munich Moment: The families of the Israeli athletes killed in the 1972 Munich Olympics have yet to reach an agreement with German officials over compensation owed to them over the country’s handling of the attacks, throwing into doubt whether the families will participate in an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the massacre next month.
✍ Stepped-up Security: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Sept. 30 to sign into law a measure extending and strengthening the state’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, after the legislature approved the measure yesterday.
⚾ Take On Me: Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein is reportedly teaming up with Ted Leonsis on a potential bid to buy the Washington Nationals.
📰 Media Matters: The New York Timesis facing criticism for working with freelancers who have expressed antisemitic views on social media.
💻 Cyber Deal: Israeli and U.S. officials inked an agreement to expand cooperation on cyber initiatives.
🙊 Vile Post: A California woman vying for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors came under fire after referring to a Jewish reporter as a Nazi on social media.
🕍 Archeological Find: A consortium of university students uncovered the first-known depictions of the biblical figures of Yael and Deborah in a mosaic on the floor of an ancient synagogue.
🥪 Smoke Signals: Famous Chicago deli, Manny’s, created a new smoked pastrami sandwich to celebrate its 80th anniversary on Aug. 30.
📺 Prett-ay Good: Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” was renewed for a 12th season, making it HBO’s longest-running scripted series.
Song of the Day
Yair Rosenberg’s new album, “Az Yashir,” is available for download on all major downloading and streaming platforms. Read our 2020 interview with Rosenberg about the concept behind the crowdfunded album.
“What I tried to do is fuse traditional Jewish lyrics with more modern musical sensibilities,” Rosenberg told us at the time.
British novelist, he is known for writing comic novels that revolve around the dilemmas of Jewish characters, and has been described as the “Jewish Jane Austen,” Howard Jacobson turns 80…
Phoenix-based award-winning journalist and writer, Leni Reiss… Boston resident, Nancy Faneuil King… Retired after a lengthy career in hotel sales and marketing, Harley Mayersohn… Bass guitarist and co-lead singer of Kiss, Gene Simmons (his birth name is Chaim Witz) turns 73… Chairman of the board emeritus at the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, Lorin M. Fife… Minister of Intelligence and a member of the Knesset for the Blue and White party, Elazar Stern turns 66… Former program director at the St. Paul, Minnesota JCC, Manfred “Fred” Haeusler… Former Trump fixer, Michael D. Cohen turns 56… Former Canadian MP, now VP for external affairs and general counsel at Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Richard Marceau turns 52… Founder of NYC-based 5W Public Relations, Ronn D. Torossian turns 48… Regional marketing director at UJA-Federation of New York, Suzanne Schneider… National program and communications director at the American Zionist Movement, Alicia Post… Actress and musician best known for playing Melanie “MelRose” Rosen on the Netflix series “Glow,” Jaclyn Tohn turns 42… National development manager at American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro, Sarah Schreiber… Founder at Commonweal Ventures, Nathaniel Loewentheil… Director of state and local government relations at multinational conglomerate Philips, Evan Hoffman… Canadian actress, Stacey Farber turns 35… SVP in the D.C. office of SKDK, Daniel Barash… Manager of business operations at LinkedIn, Sam Michelman… Partnerships manager at Polygon Technology, Ryan Kuhel… Founder and CEO at the Center for Intimacy Justice, Jackie Rotman… Senior director of audience development at Semafor, Neal Rothschild… Jane Wasserman… J.D. Candidate at Georgetown Law, Jenna Lifhits… Talmudic scholar Adam Aryeh Friedman… Israeli singer-songwriter, Eden Hason turns 28… Carina Grossmann…