👋 Good Tuesday morning!
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we talk to Utah Senate candidate Evan McMullin, who is mounting an independent challenge to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). We also chat with Ron Prosor, Israel’s newly arrived ambassador to Germany, about his family’s personal ties to the country. Also in this newsletter: Merrick Garland, Ben Judah and Dara Horn. Below, a look at what’s happening in Turtle Bay as world leaders and dignitaries descend upon New York for the U.N. General Assembly.
Following Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London yesterday, world leaders are making the transatlantic trip to New York for the U.N. General Assembly. Upcoming speeches from world leaders including President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi — who has drawn criticism from American and Israeli officials over his recent comments regarding the Holocaust on “60 Minutes” — are set to take place throughout this week.
Biden heads to New York this afternoon, where he’ll attend a Democratic National Committee reception tonight. Tomorrow he’ll address the General Assembly, and afterward will have individual meetings with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and new U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Lapid will speak on Thursday and meet with world leaders including Guterres, Truss, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Jordan’s King Abdullah II on the sidelines of the GA.
Erdogan is planning to visit Israel after several of his ministers go before him to lay the groundwork for a visit, Jewish Insider learned from an attendee at a closed-door meeting organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and held at the Turkish mission to the U.N. in Manhattan. Read more here.
Lapid will also meet with the leaders of the major Jewish communal organizations in North America during his trip and participate in the annual Friends of the IDF gala, along with about 500 of the organization’s major supporters.
But it’s not just what’s happening in Turtle Bay that’s drawing attention, as Politico reports. In addition to bringing you the latest updates from UNGA, we’ve got our eyes on the events happening on the sidelines of the GA. Last night, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, the nonprofit founded by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, held its annual gala at the Pierre Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Attending the event were honorees Robert Kraft, the philanthropist and New England Patriots owner; Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi; and Jean-Paul Agon, chairman of the L’Oréal Group.
Also happening in New York yesterday was a convening of the Clinton Global Initiative, where pandemic recovery and climate change were among the most-discussed topics. OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved talked to eJewishPhilanthropy’s Ben Sales yesterday about the launch, announced yesterday at the forum, of a $200 million impact investment fund devoted to advancing global health equity. Read more here and sign up for eJP’s Your Daily Phil newsletter here.
A host of world leaders also gathered at the Atlantic Council’s 2022 Global Citizen Awards in New York last night, where honorees included the presidents of Finland and Indonesia, the prime minister of Sweden, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and actor Forest Whitaker.
salt lake race
In Utah Senate campaign, Evan McMullin’s independent views on foreign policy
Evan McMullin is a conservative, but he’s Democrats’ pick for Senate in Utah. Running as an independent against incumbent Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), the pro-life McMullin finds himself more closely aligned with Republicans on certain issues, like abortion. But he diverges from his former allies on some foreign policy matters. In an interview with Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch on Monday, the former CIA agent laid out his approach to U.S. policy in the Middle East.
More oversight: McMullin’s conservative opponent has forged unlikely foreign policy alliances with progressive colleagues. Earlier this month Lee was the lone Republican who co-authored a series of letters with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) demanding additional federal oversight over U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “I have to agree that more oversight is required for those relationships, and for obvious reasons, so that we ensure that there are basic standards of human rights being met,” McMullin said. “Where there are such violations, I think it should cause reconsideration on our part.”
Open mind: McMullin, unlike congressional Republicans, said he is open-minded about nuclear negotiations with Iran. “I’m glad negotiations are happening again,” he said. McMullin opposed the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, arguing that it failed to keep Iran’s malign regional activities in check. But, he added, it was “unwise” for the Trump administration to pull out of the deal in 2018 when “Iran was, by all reports, living up to its part of the deal.” In a position paper shared with JI, McMullin vowed to partner with Israel “to thwart Iran’s terrorist activity in the region and elsewhere.”
Maintain leverage: McMullin, who left the Republican Party and ran as a third-party candidate against Donald Trump in 2016, is open to a deal if the U.S. also pledges to address Iran’s support for terrorism. “If the commitment is to work on the terrorism side separately, that’s fine, as long as we truly are making progress on that front,” said McMullin. “What I don’t want to see is us squander any leverage we still have with Tehran in such a way that we aren’t able to negotiate effectively with them on issues related to terrorism as well.”
Two states: McMullin also broke with many Republicans by asserting that a two-state solution is the best outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a position that has become increasingly uncommon among Republicans who don’t believe the U.S. should determine the outcome of the conflict. “I think a two-state solution offers the best prospects for sustainable peace in the immediate region and for Israel,” said McMullin.
For Israel’s ambassador to Germany, strengthening ties is both professional and personal
It’s been a busy month for Israel’s new ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor. He has welcomed Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Berlin, accompanying him to high-profile events such as the 50th anniversary memorial of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and meetings with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He has stood on the red carpet as Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid descended the steps of his plane, once again overseeing meetings with the German chancellor, the president and the country’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock. “What people don’t understand is that the Israel-German relationship goes deep,” Prosor, who presented his diplomatic credentials just over a month ago, told Jewish Insider’s Ruth Marks Eglash in a phone interview from Berlin a day after Lapid left Germany last week.
Close ties: Israel’s relations with Germany come a very close second to the strategic partnership with the United States, standing above and beyond other countries in Europe, Prosor said. And, he continued, that relationship is only growing as Germany eyes Russia’s war in Ukraine with increasing concern for its own stability and is looking to Israel, among other nations, to bolster its defense systems and provide energy as Europe moves away from relying on Russian gas. At the joint press conference with Lapid last week, Scholz said that Germany was exploring purchasing the Israeli-developed Arrow 3 defense system, which a senior Israeli official later confirmed could become a reality.
Full circle: “This is huge and it’s not just words, there has been a huge change in the paradigm,” said Prosor. “Germany is looking around for examples of other nations fighting to defend democracy and who are they looking at? They are looking at the Jewish state and so, after 74 years, the State of Israel is going to help defend Germany and Europe… What an amazing, amazing closing of a circle.”
Personal posting: That full-circle feeling hits differently for Prosor, a seasoned diplomat who previously served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom and later to the United Nations. For Prosor, whose father, Ulrich Proskauer, was born in Germany, this posting is personal. “For me, this is not just a professional posting. As the grandson of Berthold Proskauer, to return to Germany as the ambassador of Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish people, 90 years after my family was thrown out of Germany, this is a very special thing for me,” he said, adding that he plans to use the assignment “to enhance and deepen the German-Israel relations that are so close to my heart.”
coming to america
At Ellis Island, Garland invokes his own family’s perilous path to America
During a naturalization ceremony at New York’s Ellis Island, Attorney General Merrick Garland recognized his own family’s immigration journey during World War II as he thanked the new citizens for “choosing America as your home,” Jewish Insider’s Tori Bergel reports. The ceremony, which commemorated the 235th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, took place on Saturday at the site where millions of immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century — including members of Garland’s family — poured into America.
Family history: Speaking to more than 200 newly minted U.S. citizens in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, Garland described American citizenship as “a precious gift” for their future generations – one that Garland’s own grandmother gave to him when she fled the former Soviet Union due to religious persecution. “My grandmother was one of five children born in what is now Belarus. Three made it to the United States, including my grandmother who came through the Port of Baltimore,” he said. “Two did not make it. Those two were killed in the Holocaust” — a fate, Garland asserted, that would have also befallen his grandmother were it not for the protection of American laws. Garland also mentioned his mother-in-law, who escaped Nazi-occupied Austria, making her way to America in 1938 by way of New York.
Giving thanks: He ended the speech by thanking those before him, something he was unable to do with his own family. “My family members who immigrated here have now long since passed. I regret that I cannot express to them how grateful I am for the gift they gave me in choosing to come to this country,” he said. “So let me thank each of you… Thank you for choosing America as your home. Thank you for the courage, dedication and work that has brought you here. Thank you for all you will do to help our country live up to its highest ideals. Thank you on behalf of a nation that is fortunate to call you as its citizens. And thank you on behalf of the generations of Americans who will come after you,” Garland concluded. “Thank you.”
↕️ Strategic Step: The Washington Post‘s Leigh Ann Caldwell and Theodoric Meyer analyze Rep. Elise Stefanik’s (R-NY) decision to run again for the position of House Republican conference chair, rather than mount a bid for House majority whip, should control of the House shift to the GOP after the November elections. “If Republicans retake the House, as they expect to, that position would move down a peg from the No. 3 spot in House GOP leadership to No. 4 in the hierarchy because the party would pick up the speakership. But this may be a case in which moving down would be a way for Stefanik to move up in the party in the near future. She is sure to be on the VP shortlist for 2024 or among the contender for a top Cabinet post if Republicans win the White House. Former president Donald Trump, who will be the early front-runner for the nomination if he runs, is a big fan.” [WashPost]
📺 Democracies’ Failings: In The Atlantic, Dara Horn, author of People Love Dead Jews: Reports From a Haunted Present, reflects on the new Ken Burns docuseries “The U.S. and the Holocaust” and what it reveals about democracies past and present. “Watching the rapid collapse of democracies in Adolf Hitler’s path on-screen in 2022 is hard to stomach, given the shellacking that democratic norms have endured in recent years both in the U.S. and elsewhere. What’s even more disturbing, though, is a realization that I arrived at only around the fourth hour of this slow-burn series, and which the filmmakers, whose patriotic optimism is obvious here, probably didn’t have in mind: Democracies, for all their strengths, are ill-equipped for identifying and responding to evil.” [TheAtlantic]
👑 The King and Islam: In The Washington Post, Ben Judah explores how King Charles III’s admiration of Islam could influence the U.K.’s foreign relations. “Britain’s new top Royal diplomat — though he might not have said so explicitly — wants to heal the wounds left by the 9/11 era. His efforts to establish cultural dialogues aren’t limited to Islam. He’s also built remarkable bridges to Jews, hosting a royal Hanukkah party in 2019 at Buckingham Palace and befriending leading rabbis and honoring Holocaust survivors by commissioning portraits of them into the royal collections… But it is the new king’s fascination with Islam that has the most obviously political implications. As Prince of Wales, he audibly opposed Western neocolonialism. When Tony Blair’s government prepared to follow the U.S. lead into Iraq, Charles made his opposition known to government. ‘Marching in carrying a banner for western-style democracy was both foolhardy and futile,’ is how journalist Robert Jobson reported the exchange in a Charles biography. The king is also a noted supporter of the Palestinians, most recently and pointedly wishing them ‘freedom, justice and equality’ while repeatedly pressing the British government to do more.” [WashPost]
🚰 Making the Desert Bloom: Seth Siegel outlines in CNN how countries suffering from water shortages can learn from Israel’s solutions. “Although Israel gets nearly all of its tap water from desalination plants along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and a large part of its water for agriculture by purifying and re-using the nation’s sewage, Israel refuses to rely on any single strategy or technology in addressing its water needs. This ‘all of the above’ approach leads to resilience from this intentional redundancy, but it also opens the door to innovation and risk taking that has often resulted in world-changing breakthroughs.” [CNN]
Around the Web
🍏 Shana Tova: President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host a Rosh Hashanah reception next week, the first time a president will host such an event at the White House.
🛐 Keep the Faith: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the installation of 25 members of the Faith-Based Security Advisory Council, a group that will advise on security measures related to faith-based communities.
💰 Party Push: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will fundraise for Arizona Senate Republican candidate Blake Masters, despite Masters having said that he hopes “to be able to vote for a viable alternative” to McConnell as majority leader if the GOP takes control of the Senate.
🗳️ Peach State Poll: A new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll has Republican Hershel Walker with a slight lead over Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA).
🏌️♂️ Golf Goal: LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman is on Capitol Hill this week meeting with legislators to help soften the Saudi-linked golf circuit’s image in Washington.
👨 Oversight Overreach? Politicoanalyzes Rep. Jamie Raskin’s (D-MD) attempt to vie for a spot on the House Oversight Committee next year despite his lack of seniority.
🖼️ Restitution: A Dutch museum is returning a 1910 painting by Wassily Kandinsky to the descendants of a Jewish family from whom it was seized during World War II.
🥪 Corned Beef Crown: A Toronto deli whose Sri Lankan-born Catholic owner cut his chops for 16 years at one of the city’s premier Jewish-style delis was awarded a Bib Gourmand from Michelin.
🇹🇷🇮🇱 Turkey Ties: Israel announced the appointment of its ambassador to Turkey, part of a larger effort to rebuild relations between the two countries.
🤝 Trade Mission: Bahrain and Israel are negotiating a potential free trade agreement.
🤐 Backdoor Diplomacy: Delegations from Pakistan and Indonesia, which have no diplomatic relations with Israel, are reportedly currently in the country for secret talks.
Pic of the Day
Young Jewish women in Jerusalem watch as slips of paper containing written prayers are removed from the Kotel and its cracks cleaned ahead of Rosh Hashanah next week.
Author, television personality and philanthropist, Candy Spelling turns 77…
Florida real estate developer of Aventura and Turnberry Isle Resort, Donald Soffer turns 90… Wealth management advisor, he won four Super Bowls with the Steelers during his eight-year career as a tight end, C. Randy Grossman turns 70… Dean of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky turns 69… Senior chairman of Goldman Sachs since 2019, prior to which he served as CEO there for 13 years, Lloyd Blankfein turns 68… Co-founder of Broadcom and owner of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, Henry Samueli turns 68… Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel, Yosef Elron turns 67… Insurance agent in Tulsa, Okla., Lawrence M. Schreier… Real estate developer, sports agent and boxing promoter, Marc Roberts turns 63… Former rabbi of Congregation Beit Torat Chaim of Jakarta, Indonesia, Rabbi Tovia Singer turns 62… Assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas, he was the goalkeeper for the U.S. field hockey team at the 1984 Summer Olympics, Randolph B. “Randy” Lipscher turns 62… Attorney, author and legal analyst on NBC, Lisa Bloom turns 61… Member of the Knesset for the Likud party, Keren Barak turns 50… Founder of PFAP Consulting and special advisor for the Efrat Development Foundation, Melissa Jane Kronfeld, Ph.D…. Republican policy director at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, James Mazol… Senior reporter at Bloomberg LP, Drew Singer… Senior associate at Blue Laurel Advisors in Israel, Emily Grunewald… Director of membership for the Sacramento-based California Solar & Storage Association, Carter Lavin… Director of digital strategy and executive communications at Sony Music Entertainment, Alison Bogdonoff… Senior manager of brand marketing at Sakara Life, Zoe Plotsky… Manhattan resident, Isabel Eliana Tsesarsky… Lauren Ackerman…