👋 Good Friday morning.
Following Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday afternoon in Balmoral, Scotland, at the age of 96 and after a 70-year reign as monarch, attention turns to her successor, Prince Charles, who will be known as King Charles III when he assumes the throne. Below, we look at the soon-to-be king’s relationships in the U.K.’s Jewish community, and his history of activism on behalf of Jewish causes.
The Biden administration’s Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley met on Thursday with the leaders of several U.S. Jewish organizations including The Jewish Federations of North America, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Union for Reform Judaism and AIPAC, Jewish Insider has learned.
Participants declined to share information about what was discussed at the meeting. “Federations appreciated the engagement from the White House, and we’re pleased the meeting took place,” a JFNA spokesperson told JI.
Democratic Majority for Israel is backing 29 House and Senate candidates in a new round of general election endorsements, the group’s political arm, DMFI PAC, plans to announce on Friday.
The list covers several pro-Israel incumbents in safe blue districts as well as some candidates, including Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), facing stiffer odds as Democrats seek to defend their tenuous majorities in both chambers. DMFI PAC is also supporting challengers who represent possible pick-up opportunities, such as Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo, who says she would be the first Hispanic Jew in Congress.
Two senators now backed by DMFI PAC — Maggie Hassen (D-NH) and Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) — are viewed as vulnerable. Kelly is facing a Trump-backed opponent, Blake Masters, who has drawn intense scrutiny for incendiary comments and controversial past writings.
In a statement shared with JI, Mark Mellman, DMFI PAC’s chairman, said he was “confident” that the new slate of candidates “can defeat their extreme MAGA opponents,” adding: “We’re thrilled to support such a diverse and distinguished slate of pro-Israel Democrats.” Read more here.
Who knows the king?
He mourned the death in 2020 of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, saying he had “lost a trusted guide and an inspired teacher.” He has spoken movingly of the need for Holocaust remembrance, that “we must never cease to be appalled, nor moved by the testimony of those who lived through it.” He has pressed for interfaith understanding, and warned against antisemitism. Now, as Prince Charles gets set to assume the throne as King Charles III after the death on Thursday of Queen Elizabeth II at 96, after a remarkable 70-year reign as monarch, interest is intensifying about who has the new king’s ear in the Jewish community, how he would deal with rising antisemitism in England and what his seemingly complicated views are concering the Middle East. Prince Charles, the former Prince of Wales, has, according to many observers, deep and long-standing ties in Britain’s Jewish community, despite assumptions that the British royal family barely notices the Anglo-Jewish community, Jenni Frazer reports for Jewish Insider from the U.K.
Touting tolerance: The monarchy is “very deeply rooted in British political life,” professor Vernon Bogdanor, a political scientist and historian, who is professor of government at King’s College, London and author of The Monarchy and the Constitution, told JI. “I think the Jewish community has always felt that it is a guarantor of tolerance.” The new king’s long relationship with the Jewish community can perhaps best be viewed through the lens of tolerance. As the Prince of Wales, a title he assumed in 1969, Charles had almost no official or unofficial links with the Jewish community in the early years of his adult life. But lately, it is a rare communal event that does not include the prince’s presence, such as direct, hands-on patronage of charities such as World Jewish Relief (the humanitarian arm of British Jews), the Jewish Museum, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, or the youth movement, the Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade. He made history in 2013 by attending the installation of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, with whom he has a relationship, at a London synagogue, becoming the first royal to participate in such an event.
Never forget: The soon-to-be king has also taken a keen interest in Holocaust issues, commissioning, earlier this year, portraits of seven U.K.-based survivors. Last year the prince wrote the foreword for a memoir written by 98-year-old Lily Ebert, one of the survivors whose portrait was among the seven paintings. At the unveiling ceremony, Ebert showed him the tattoo forced on her in Auschwitz, telling Prince Charles, “Meeting you, it is for everyone who lost their lives.” The prince insisted, “But it is a greater privilege for me.” Charles has also built a relationship with Karen Pollock, the chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, who was instrumental in introducing both Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, to survivors. In January 2020, Prince Charles, drawing directly on the actions of his grandmother, Princess Alice, who saved Jews during the Nazi invasion of Greece, and who is buried on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives, was the keynote speaker at the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem. He has also worked closely with Paul Anticoni, the head of World Jewish Relief, who first introduced Charles to the organization’s humanitarian work in Krakow.
Reciprocated affection: The affinity Prince Charles has for the Jewish community has been reciprocated. Since 1801, British Jews have recited a prayer for the royal family on Shabbat, at a point in the Shacharit service where other communities might pray for the welfare of the government. The prayer resonates with the prince: He has referred to it many times in his public appearance at Jewish events, not least at a reception he gave for the Jewish community at Buckingham Palace on Hanukkah in 2019. He said then that he believed the links between the British monarchy and the country’s Jewish community were “something special,” adding, “I say this from a particular and personal perspective, because I have grown up being deeply touched by the fact that British synagogues have, for centuries, remembered my family in your weekly prayers. And as you remember my family, so we too remember and celebrate you.”
Keep your friends close: The warmth with which Prince Charles approaches the Jewish community today is not believed to have come from his mother. Though she did host some events for British Jews, it was the queen’s late husband, Prince Philip, who was the driving force in building relationships with the Jewish community. He had close personal friendships with the South African-born scientist Lord Zuckerman, and the society photographer Baron, whose real name was Sterling Henry Nahum. Both were clever men whose fresh take on social issues intrigued Philip, who enjoyed their company immensely. Like his father, Prince Charles has close friendships with members of the Jewish community. But they are extremely circumspect, and declined to be quoted for this article. Their continuing friendship is dependent on their continuing discretion: As one friend of Charles admitted to Jewish Insider: “If there is one thing I have learned over 25 years, it is better never to talk at all.”
trip in review
Graham predicts no Iran deal until after midterms, floats U.S.-Israel defense treaty
Fresh off a trip to Israel, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) predicted that a new Iran deal will not be finalized until after the upcoming U.S. midterms and Israeli elections, and previewed plans for multiple legislative initiatives aimed at countering Tehran in an interview with Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod on Thursday.
Deal dilemma: “I don’t think there’s any chance the agreement will be announced before our election, or the Israeli election [set for Nov. 1], because the politics of this agreement are probably not good in either place,” Graham told Jewish Insider on Thursday. But, despite fresh setbacks in the latest round of talks, “I’m assuming that [the administration] will get a deal because they want a deal so badly.” Graham said he does not see a pathway for Congress to stop a deal from going forward — “We’d have to have a veto-proof [majority], which we won’t get.”
Legislative agenda: The South Carolina senator previewed plans to introduce legislation imposing additional sanctions on Iran in response to its attempts to target former U.S. officials on U.S. soil. He also said he anticipates that his bill with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) requiring regular, comprehensive reports to Congress on the status of Iran’s nuclear and weaponization efforts will pass before the end of the year. He and Menendez are pushing to incorporate it in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. Graham said he and Menendez are also examining the possibility of a “limited” binational defense treaty between the U.S. and Israel, regarding “existential threats to the Jewish state.”
Treaty talk: Such a proposal would “let the world know that America has Israel’s back when it comes to their existence — and trying to do it in a fashion that we’re not going to take the independent action of the [Israeli Defense Forces] away,” he explained. “This won’t be an American veto of defending Israel, but it will be a commitment in certain circumstances, to provide clarity, that if your goal is to destroy Israel you have to come through us. That is a statement I think needs to be put in writing.”
Threat tag: Graham cast Iran as a generational threat, drawing parallels between the Islamic Republic and Adolf Hitler. “It’s about time the world starts believing people when they say things. In the last century, we let a guy get away with murder, literally. We didn’t take his threats seriously, Adolf Hitler,” he said. I don’t want a conflict. I’m insistent they [Iran] don’t produce a weapon… Whatever it takes to stop them, I’m willing to do.”
Al Otaiba: Palestinians the ‘elephant in the room’ in Abraham Accords conversation
At an event on Thursday celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords, United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba referred to the Palestinians as “the elephant in the room,” and called on signatories to the Accords to do more to advance a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports. “All the stuff that we’re talking about is great,” Al Otaiba said at the virtual event organized by the Washington, D.C.-based Atlantic Council think tank, “but we can’t avoid talking about the two-state solution. We really can’t.”
Anniversary party: Al Otaiba was joined on the panel by Israeli Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek, Bahraini Ambassador to the U.S. Abdulla Bin Rashid Al Khalifa and Dan Shapiro, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and current Atlantic Council distinguished fellow. Much of the conversation was spent applauding the regional changes that have come about in the past two years and discussing plans to build upon the Accords, which were brokered by the Trump administration and signed on Sept. 15, 2020.
Room for diplomacy: “We still haven’t mentioned the word Palestine,” Al Otaiba said about 40 minutes into the hour-long event. “One of the biggest criticisms of the Abraham Accords, when it came out, was [that] it doesn’t solve the two-state solution. I don’t think it was meant to solve — I think it was meant to buy space and time to create room for diplomacy to address the two-state solution. I still believe the two-state solution is the only game in town. I think we need to pursue it.”
Including Palestinians: One way to involve the Palestinians in the expanding regional architecture is to bring them into the N7, Al Otaiba said, referring to the conference organized last year by the Atlantic Council and the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, with participants from seven nations that had normalized ties (UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and Israel).
Trust first: Hayek suggested the Palestinians should only come to the table after Israelis and Palestinians improve their own ties. “There is no country in the world that would like peace with the Palestinians more than Israel. But still we need to build trust,” Hayek said. “Then we can do other things with the Palestinians about bringing them to the table. You know, we are welcoming anyone to the table.”
Elsewhere: United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed plans to visit Israel next week for a series of bilateral meetings with Israeli leaders, according to reports in Israeli media.
The battle over Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center – a guide for the perplexed
In May 2021, Maimonides Medical Center seemed like it was riding high, with an expansion and a naming rights deal at a local stadium. Sixteen months later, the hospital in the heavily Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park is in crisis, having lost $145 million last year amid complaints of poor patient care, reports eJewishPhilanthropy’s Ben Sales.
A year of bad news: The loss of $145 million is just the latest piece of bad news to emerge for Maimonides, Brooklyn’s largest hospital, which mostly serves low-income patients. The year has been punctuated by news stories detailing overcrowding, alleged malpractice, employee protest and questionable financial practices. The coverage came as the hospital received poor ratings from the state Department of Health and another government agency.
A growing protest: In light of these reports, a protest movement seeks to oust the hospital’s management and improve its conditions. Called “Save Maimonides,” the group, founded earlier this year, is based locally and held a gathering late last month in Borough Park that drew more than 1,000 attendees.
Maimonides responds: Maimonides has responded to the complaints by telling eJP that its budget gap is narrowing. It has expressed confidence that a state government funding program for hospitals that rely on Medicaid, which it became eligible for late last year, will help get it back to a sure footing.
🧱 Fault Lines: The Financial Times’ Geoff Manaugh details researchers’ efforts to use Muon Imaging for Mining and Archaeology (MIMA) to detect structural issues within buildings, preventing collapse. “Although muons penetrate matter with ease, their ability to pass through an object or structure decreases with a material’s density. Muons en route through a large building or mountain will be subtly but measurably filtered out by thick masonry or heavy ore, with the effect that more muons will travel through zones of emptiness — the first clue that a room, cave or magma chamber must exist somewhere inside. Similarly, muons passing through a material such as concrete will be blocked or scattered just enough by the steel rebar, which can be seven times denser than concrete, to indicate that something — an object or anomaly — must lurk within.” [FinancialTimes]
🗳 Breaking the Deadlock?: In The Washington Post, Gershom Gorenberg discusses whether or not Israel’s upcoming election will see an end to its perpetual cycle of political instability. “The Israeli election on Nov. 1 will in fact be the country’s fifth in 3½ years, an unprecedented stretch of indecision and instability. The last election, in 2021, pushed Netanyahu out of power. But the fragile coalition that replaced his government collapsed in June of this year. Naftali Bennett, leader of a small right-wing party who became the unlikely prime minister for a year and a few days, is leaving politics. Lapid, a centrist, heads a caretaker government. If incumbency has given him an edge, it is hard to detect. If polls were precise predictions, the certain results of this election would be more deadlock and another round by next spring. The large, looming issues are unlikely to make a difference. Yet small changes — less likely to show up in post-election stories in the foreign media — might tip the balance at last.” [WashPost]
🇾🇪 Yemen Concerns: The Atlantic Council’s Muammar Al-Eryani asserts that additional action must be taken in regard to Iran’s nuclear deal in order to stop the county’s cooperation with Yemen’s Houthi group. “It is not possible to talk about de-escalation and a peaceful solution to the Yemeni crisis in isolation of the nuclear agreement negotiations. Curbing Iranian expansionist ambitions and limiting its interference in the region must be considered, as it is directly relevant to giving Iran more power. Regardless, the Islamic Republic will go ahead with its agenda in spite of any agreements, which is why it’s integral to have a united approach that holds the Iranian regime responsible and creates guarantees for the security of not just the region but the world.” [AtlanticCouncil]
🇺🇦 How to Remember:The Atlantic’s George Packer travels to Ukraine to report on how Ukrainians have mobilized and unified in the wake of the Russian invasion of the country earlier this year. “In 2016, the Ukrainian government announced plans for a $100 million state-of-the-art museum and research center that would supposedly do justice to Babyn Yar. Much of the funding would come from Jewish oligarchs, who had ties to Russia. The first elements, by international artists such as Marina Abramović, were a travesty of narcissistic kitsch… On the street outside the unfinished research center, as if to remind visitors that innocents continue to be slaughtered here, were the remains of a fitness club and an ice rink—twisted steel and tangled wires, fallen branches and blackened tree trunks, all stinking of char — where, in the first days of the invasion, a Russian rocket had missed its intended target, the television tower across the road. Much more than the park’s smorgasbord of monuments, the bitter smell of things not meant for burning made me think of cruelty and death. In the woods at the far edge of Babyn Yar, a few hundred yards and 80 years away, a steep brown gash in the earth had the same effect.” [TheAtlantic]
Around the Web
⛑ Civilian Harm: Lawmakers called on the Biden administration to monitor its Middle Eastern military aid, after an internal report found the government negligent of connecting its support to civilian casualties in receiving countries.
😡 Radical Rioter: A Navy reservist and Nazi sympathizer – who also has top-level U.S. government security clearance – was indicted in Virginia for crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot, for which he was already charged in Washington earlier this summer.
🎬 The Odd Couple: The New York Timesspotlights the relationship between Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe and parody-musician Weird Al Yankovic, whom Radcliffe portrays in the upcoming biopic “Weird.”
🔫 Armed: The New York State Jewish Gun club has hired attorneys to fight the state’s ban on allowing concealed firearms in “sensitive areas,” which include houses of worship.
🪦 What’s Old is New: Broken pieces of Jewish headstones, once used to pave the streets of Prague’s city square, have been turned into “The Return of the Stones” monument, a memorial to those whose graves were desecrated.
👮 Attack Thwarted: Israeli officers arrested a Palestinian man in Tel Aviv en route to commit what authorities described as a “large-scale” terror attack.
⛺️ Land Feud: Israeli Bedouins say the country’s area conservation plan is a way to diminish their claim to the land.
☢️ Nuke Concerns: France announced its concern over Iran’s most recent report regarding cooperation with the United Nations over undeclared nuclear materials.
Wine of the Week
JI’s wine columnist Yitz Applbaum reviews the Vera Wang Party Prosecco:
“I get excited whenever a new wine emerges on the market that isn’t expected to be kosher but is. I think it is partly the mystery of tasting something for the first time, and partly a glimpse into the broader world of wine. This past Shabbat lunch, sitting with our dear friends Rayfull and Leslie, we tasted a wonderful recent addition to the kosher wine world. The Vera Wang Party Prosecco from the iconic fashion designer is an exciting and passionate bottle produced in Italy. The opening bubbles liven up the tongue and prepare one’s mid-palate for a rush of guava and pear flavors. The finish tickles your nose and leaves you pining for the next pour. This wine is best enjoyed well-chilled, and I recommend it alongside broccoli and salmon salad.”
Pic of the Day
The Orthodox Union held a Chanukat Habayit for the opening of its new headquarters in New York City. Pictured are Rabbi Josh Joseph (left), the OU’s executive vice president and chief operating officer; Conference of Presidents CEO William Daroff; and Rabbi Moshe Hauer, the OU’s executive vice president.
Owner of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, he is the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management, David Tepper turns 65 on Sunday…
FRIDAY: Beverly Hills resident Barbara Schechter… Former president of Israel, Reuven “Ruvi” Rivlin turns 83… Real estate investor and hotelier, Harris Rosen turns 83… Senior fellow emeritus in the foreign policy program at The Brookings Institution, Kenneth Lieberthal turns 79… Former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Donald M. Berwick turns 76… President of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes turns 73… President emeritus of Yeshiva University, Richard M. Joel turns 72… A founder of the Shas party, he served as deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Nissim Mordechai Ze’ev turns 71… Founding president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, Martin Kramer turns 68… Brooklyn educator, Steven Elworth… Editorial director of Schocken Books, the Judaica imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Altie Karper… Israeli businesswoman and philanthropist, Shari Arison turns 65… Suzanna Stone… D.C.-based communications strategist and tactician, Jeffrey Weintraub… Founder and managing member of Alternative Asset CFO Services, Lloyd Eric Appel… U.S. senator (D-DE), Chris Coons turns 59… Professional golfer on the PGA Tour and now on the Champions Tour, Jules Ira “Skip” Kendall turns 58… Actor, comedian, screenwriter, creator of “The Chanukah Song,” Adam Sandler turns 56… Author and senior national correspondent at HuffPost, Jonathan Cohn turns 53… Former member of the Knesset for the Yesh Atid party, Dov Lipman turns 51… Partner and associate director at Boston Consulting Group, Sacha Frédéric Litman… New York City-based freelance journalist, David Freedlander… Israeli entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of Lightricks, Zeev Farbman turns 43… Global lead of digital assets at Amazon Web Services, Michael B. Greenwald… Leadership program advisor at California State University-Sacramento, Carla Hashley… Head of Google Cuba, Brett Perlmutter… Digital and data operations manager at Academic Engagement Network, he is also the D.C. chair of B’nai B’rith Connect, Trey Meehan… Fourth overall pick by the New Jersey Devils in the 2021 NHL draft, Luke Hughes turns 19… Founder of International Hummus Day, now working on Notion, Ben Lang…
SATURDAY: Energy investor, his name appears on the Houston Jewish day school and the tennis center at Harvard among many others, Robert M. Beren turns 96… Chairman of Shamrock Holdings, Roy Disney’s private investment company, Stanley Gold turns 80… Huntington Beach, Calif., resident, Dianne Varon… Former EVP and general counsel at Chicago’s futures broker Rosenthal Collins Group, Gerald Fishman… Past president of Congregation Ahavas Israel in Passaic, Howard Penner… Retired coordinator of the Youth Advisory Council at Truman Heartland Community Foundation, Henri Goettel… Houston attorney, and GOP activist, Gary M. Polland turns 72… Denver attorney and politician, he served in the Colorado House of Representatives, Joel Judd turns 70… Executive assistant to the office managing partner of the E&Y office in Tampa, Nancy Carol Finkel… U.S. senator (R-WY), Cynthia Lummis turns 68… VP at Goldman Sachs, Matthew Fried… Real estate attorney in South Florida, Steven A. Greenspan… Editor of Mideast Dig, Richard Behar… Founder and managing director at Beacon Global Strategies, Andrew Shapiro… NYC trusts and estates attorney, Lawrence I. Garbuz… Founder and CEO of NYC-based hedge fund JS Capital Management LLC, Jonathan Soros turns 52… Television writer and producer whose work includes “The Big Bang Theory,” Eric Kaplan turns 51… Director of the Mid-Atlantic Region of Agudath Israel, Rabbi Ariel Sadwin… Principal at Blue Zone Partners, Charles Szold… PR strategist Josh Nass… Jennifer Meyer…
SUNDAY: Three-time winner of an Academy Award as a lyricist and songwriter, Alan Bergman turns 97… Wisconsin resident, Janis Kohlenberg… French physicist who was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics, Serge Haroche turns 78… Senior U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of Ohio based in Cincinnati, Judge Susan J. Dlott turns 73… Pediatric nephrologist, Dr. Jonathan Heiliczer… Member of the New Jersey General Assembly where he is the first Orthodox Jew in the New Jersey Legislature, Gary Schaer turns 71… Television producer and executive producer, Jon Meyersohn… Global real estate advisor at ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, Rosy Lofer… Director of sales and marketing at Hillcrest Royale Senior Living, Marian Rubinstein… Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge, Ellen Ceisler turns 65… Co-founder of the U.K. hedge fund Brevan Howard Asset Management, he is a former director of the Conservative Friends of Israel, Alan Howard turns 59… London-based CEO and founding partner of Stanhope Capital, Daniel Pinto turns 56… CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Mark Dubowitz turns 54… Israeli journalist and political commentator, Raviv Drucker turns 52… CEO of NYC’s 92nd Street Y, Seth William Pinsky… Executive director at JP Morgan Chase, Daniel E. Berger… Former member of the Illinois Legislature, now the CEO of NYC’s Chevra Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Service, Yehiel Mark Kalish turns 47… Arbi Tatevosian… Jessica Sebella Setless Spiegel… Writer and rebbitzen of the Altneu Synagogue, Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt… Director of partnerships at Masa Israel Journey, Gali Gordon… Udi Ben Zeev…