👋 Good Tuesday morning!
Liz Truss will be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom, following a vote by members of the U.K.’s Conservative Party that saw her best Rishi Sunak 57%-43%. Over the summer, we explored Truss and Sunak’s positions and relationships with the U.K. Jewish community. Read the report here.
Coming soon? Truss, the former foreign secretary, told the party’s Jewish members that she would consider moving the British embassy to Jerusalem if elected, the Jerusalem Post’s Lahav Harkov reported last month.
It’s Primary Day in Massachusetts. Following a grueling primary last cycle, Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), is on a glide path to reelection, with no primary or general election opponents. Auchincloss’ 2020 progressive opponent, Jesse Mermell, was expected to mount a primary challenge, but declined to do so, citing family health issues.
In addition to the federal races, we’re watching the race for lieutenant governor, where state Sen. Eric Lesser is up against Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. Running to fill Lesser’s seat in Beacon Hill is Sydney Levin Epstein, who is facing off against state Rep. Jake Oliveira.
Last week, 34 House Democrats signed onto a letter from Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) expressing concerns about the Iran talks, bringing the total number of House Democrats who have raised concerns about the talks to 36.
Iran negotiations in flux as Western negotiators temper expectations
Efforts to reach a new nuclear agreement with Iran hit a new impasse over the weekend, after Tehran voiced discontent with the most recent draft submitted by E.U. negotiators. Josep Borrell, the E.U.’s top diplomat, said on Monday that the odds of reaching a new agreement were diminishing and suggested that observers should not expect an imminent agreement between the parties, while a U.S. official toldPolitico that Iran’s response to the proposal was “not at all encouraging.” Meanwhile, a newly released 80-page Swedish intelligence report warned that Tehran had attempted to purchase nuclear technology from the Scandinavian nation as recently as last year.
Transatlantic talk: A bipartisan group of legislators visiting Israel this week — Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Marcia Blackburn (R-TN), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) — addressed the current state of negotiations as well as conversations between Israeli and U.S. officials at a press briefing in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon. Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters that the administration has committed to submitting any agreement it reaches with Iran for congressional review, but added that he was “unsure” if there would be sufficient votes in the Senate to block the agreement — 60 are needed for the initial vote, and two-thirds would be needed to override a presidential veto.
Free rein: U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, who met with the delegation as well as Mossad chief David Barnea on Monday, said afterward that President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid last week that the U.S. “will not tie Israel’s hands” if it chooses to act against Iran.
D.C.-bound: Barnea is now headed to Washington for meetings with U.S. officials including CIA Director Bill Burns. Barnea is also expected to meet with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee; the committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday “to receive a closed briefing to examine certain intelligence matters.”
On air: Amid heightened tensions in the region, the U.S. military sent a pair of B-52 bombers with nuclear capabilities on a Middle East flyover, a move that a top Air Force official said demonstrated the U.S. “ability to combine forces to deter and, if necessary, defeat our adversaries.”
Save the date: Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley will brief members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Sept. 14.
Arnold Roth joins JI’s ‘Limited Liability Podcast’
On Aug. 9, 2001, in the afternoon of what had been a typical day in Jerusalem, families gathered for lunch, as they often did, at Sbarro on the corner of Jaffa Road and King George Street. Located in a bustling area, the kosher pizzeria was a particularly popular spot among neighborhood children and members of the area’s religious communities. That Thursday, the restaurant was packed. Fifteen-year-old Malki Roth, a citizen of Israel, Australia and the U.S., was there with her best friend. At the same time, Malki’s father, Arnold Roth, the head of a drug development company, was taking his lunch break amid an afternoon of nonstop meetings. He had just finished when, around 2 p.m., he answered a call from his wife screaming into the phone. There had been an attack. Malki, her best friend and 13 others — mostly young mothers and children — were killed when a Hamas terrorist entered the restaurant and detonated a bomb, killing himself in the process. An additional 130 people were injured. Arnold joined the hosts of Jewish Insider’s “Limited Liability Podcast,” Rich Goldberg and Jarrod Bernstein, to talk about his daughter’s life and death, and his family’s efforts to hold her murderers accountable.
On the day of the attack: “At around 2 o’clock I got back from lunch, my wife was on the phone, and she was shrieking into the phone, something I’m not at all used to, and she said that there had been a “פיגוע” — a terror attack — in the center of Jerusalem. She knew that because she was on the floor with our youngest child watching CNN, and her message was, “I can’t reach the children,” and then she hung up. Naturally, like everybody else in Jerusalem, I reached for my phone and called all of my children one after the other… And I found very quickly that the cell network had gone down…An hour later, I still hadn’t reached Malki and I had spoken to the other children. And from there it was just a movie plot that just got darker and blacker and more awful…Around 5 o’clock, 5:30 that afternoon, this is the ninth of August 2001, and the downstairs neighbor, [a] lovely lady who’s no longer alive, came up the stairs with an awful look that I’ll never forget on her face, and she said, “Michal is dead.” Michal was our daughter’s best friend and we knew that they were together, and we hadn’t had any status update. Well, the television had provided the first status update, so we knew we were in something that was more worrying, more catastrophic than anything that I think we were prepared for. And so it went until 2 in the morning. Two in the morning, our two oldest sons had been accompanied by a social worker, they went down to the government forensic center in Yaffo near Tel Aviv, and at roughly 2 o’clock they phoned home from there and they said they had found Malki. And that was, as you can imagine, just one of those moments you never forget.”
On Malki’s compassion: “Malki was the youngest of the four children that we brought with us from Australia when we moved to Israel in the summer of 1988, she was just 2 and a half years old. [In] 2001 she had just finished 10th grade, had acquired the leadership of a group of girls through a youth group and had proven herself to be terrifically good at this, and was an advocate for change in her own circle in the school, in the social setting, for children with disabilities. I mentioned that, because the youngest of our children, who lives with us today and who was born 10 years after Malki, is catastrophically disabled. And Malki was somebody who just looked right past that and saw a sibling, a sister whom she adored. That was actually a large part of her personality. She was always smiling and very engaged with other people, just a wonderful human being to be around.”
On the Roths’ connection to Israel despite their struggles to get justice for Malki: “This has not… weakened in the smallest way, my devotion or that of my wife and our family to Zionism. We know why we’re living in Israel…we came here to raise our children in Israel, and we love what’s happened, we are happy, and we have children and grandchildren living here…So, it has not changed our connection to Israel in the smallest way. But it has sharpened, I would use the word contempt, the contempt that I personally feel towards politicians in multiple places and multiple levels of seniority.”
The Baltic state where the basic facts of the Holocaust were put on trial
“Is it possible,” asks Yosef Yerushalmi, a scholar of Jewish history, “that the antonym of ‘forgetting’ is not ‘remembering,’ but ‘justice?’” This is the question that drives Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends, a new book from journalist Linda Kinstler that explores how society remembers and honors the victims of the Holocaust — and warns that the power of survivor testimony is under threat today from the forces of nationalism and authoritarianism. “The whole book is very much rooted in a desire to see through this vision of Jewish justice, this idea that the survivors gave their testimonies and they gave them for all time, and they expected them to last through various transitions, through upheavals,” Kinstler told Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch in a recent interview. “Now, it seems like just at the precise moment when they’re dying, [the testimonies] are starting to collapse.”
Latvian Lindbergh: Kinstler explores these themes primarily through the story of Herberts Cukurs, a famed aviator known as the “Latvian Lindbergh” who later served in a Nazi killing brigade responsible for the murders of tens of thousands of Jews. In 1965, he was killed in Uruguay by Mossad agents who, just a few years earlier, had captured Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and brought him to Israel to stand trial. Cukurs came on Kinstler’s radar because of an unusual criminal investigation: Seventy years after the Holocaust, a Latvian prosecutor “reopened” Cukurs’ case to try to prove his innocence and make him something of a martyr for the Latvian nation.
It’s personal: “I had already been studying all these approaches to historical memory and justice, and then I found myself really in one of them, by virtue of my unfortunate personal connection to the story,” Kinstler recalled. She is referring to her grandfather Boris Kinstler, one of Cukurs’ comrades in a notorious killing unit called the Arajs Kommando. Boris vanished mysteriously in the late 1940s after he was believed to have become a KGB agent, but despite her years of research, Kinstler cannot fully verify his story. Boris never even met his son — Kinstler’s father — but his ghost looms large in the family’s memory. Kinstler’s mother, also from Latvia, is Jewish.
Revisionist renaissance: Like other European nations in the post-Communist era, Latvia began to publicly examine its history and reckon with the country’s strong faction of Nazi collaborators after the fall of the Soviet Union. But a “revisionist renaissance” was soon underway, mimicking trends that have swept across Eastern Europe.
Justice undone: When asked whether justice has been served for victims of the Holocaust, Kinstler paused. “I don’t know,” she said. “Justice can always be undone, which is part of the thing that I wanted to illustrate. You can’t just say, ‘OK, it was achieved, now we can move on.’” In other words: Kinstler has written an ode to the mantra “Never forget.”
Bonus: “Baltic Truth,” a new Dudu Fisher-narrated documentary about the Holocaust in Latvia and Lithuania, premieres at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City on Sept. 14.
UAE-Israel cyber intelligence firm grows with its perch in the Gulf
Years before the Abraham Accords enabled Emiratis and Israelis to openly run businesses together, Abdulla Baqer operated a back-channel in Dubai that brought Israel’s cybersecurity expertise to the Arab world. Working with intelligence veterans in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere, the charismatic entrepreneur helped facilitate the growing commercial ties that were poking through the longtime Arab-Israeli divide. After the Accords were signed at the White House two years ago, Baqer and his partners unveiled Black Wall Global, a firm that finds little need these days to obscure its mission of marketing Israeli technology to nations that have been reluctant to deal directly with the Jewish state, reports The Circuit’s Jonathan Ferziger.
Strategy session: Baqer, 45, is also co-president of the UAE-Israel Business Council, through which he coaches Israelis on using the United Arab Emirates as a platform for dealing with Arab markets. “There are a lot of countries that don’t allow Israeli companies to set up shop,” Baqer told The Circuit. “They can always come to the UAE, partner with a UAE company and basically go out and be sold as an Emirati company.”
Let’s make a deal: Black Wall is one of the smaller Israeli-led companies that have prospered in the new atmosphere of normalized relations with the Gulf states. Israel and the UAE signed a free-trade agreement in May that eliminates most tariffs and is projected to bring annual trade between the two countries over the next five years to more than $10 billion. The biggest deal between the Emirates and Israel has been Delek Drilling’s $1 billion sale last year of its stake in an offshore Mediterranean gas field to the UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum. State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries has signed drone-development deals with Edge Group, a government-owned defense company in the UAE. And OurCrowd, a Jerusalem-based venture capital investment platform, set up a subsidiary in the UAE and last November became the first Israeli VC registered by the Abu Dhabi Global Market to operate in the country.
✍️ Tale of Two Cities: In the Jerusalem Post, Bernard Haykel and Mohammed Alyahya, personal friends, respectively, of Salmon Rushie and Jamal Khashoggi, reflect on the differing approaches by the U.S. government and American media to the attempted assassination of Rushdie and the killing of Khashoggi. “The difference between the governments in Tehran and Riyadh could not be clearer. Yet because the White House is intent on reviving the nuclear deal, large sections of America’s political and media elites seem bent on erasing reality in favor of a fantasy that a peaceful Iran will emerge after the deal and will be ‘integrated’ with its neighbors. What happened on stage in Chautauqua, New York should be a warning that deal or no deal the Iranian regime will continue to pursue violent means and use religion for its political ends.” [JPost]
💸 Addled by Adelson: Bloomberg’s Bill Allison and Christopher Palmeri spotlight Miriam Adelson’s decline in donations to Republicans ahead of the midterms, and the effect that it could have on November’s results. “The expectation among many in Washington was that Miriam would maintain the couple’s benevolence. But her only major contribution this year is one-sixth of what the Adelsons had given to the Congressional Leadership Fund by this point in the 2018 election cycle. That time around, both also wrote $33,900 checks, then the maximum amount, to the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, and maxed out to 18 federal candidates. Without the Adelsons’ big donations, some Republicans worry they could face a cash crunch heading into the midterms. The party is favored to take a majority in the House, though its chances of controlling the Senate have deteriorated due to the fundraising struggles of candidates in battleground states.” [Bloomberg]
🇮🇱 History Lesson: In the Wall Street Journal, Walter Russell Mead explores the U.S. relationship with Israel and Zionism dating back before the country’s creation, the topic of his most recent book. “It is the story of non-Jewish support for Israel that needs to be told. It is not only that American Christians going back to Boston Puritans like Increase Mather and colonial theologians like Jonathan Edwards believed that God would someday lead the Jews back to their biblical homeland. Politicians like John Adams and Theodore Roosevelt, and hardheaded businessmen like John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan, supported Zionist aspirations as well. One hundred years after the Lodge-Fish Resolution, Jewish and non-Jewish Americans alike continue to debate America’s relationship with the Zionist movement and the Jewish state. That is as it should be. Those who think that Jewish financial and media power are the forces that drive America’s Middle East policy continue to miss the point. Anti-Semitic myths about Jewish power can’t explain America’s past policy in the Middle East and provide no useful guidance for the future.” [WSJ]
Around the Web
🕵️ Investigation Results: The IDF’s probe into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh found that there was a “high probability” that the Palestinian-American journalist was shot unintentionally by Israeli forces.
🗳️ Ballot Bluster: Former Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) will not appear on the Working Families Party line in New York’s 11th Congressional District, noting some of his ideological disagreements with the left-wing group.
📣 With Friends Like These…: The Democratic nominee for Congress in Michigan’s 10th District appeared on a Facebook Live with a Democratic activist who has espoused antisemitic conspiracy theories tied to Sept. 11.
🫂 Court Compassion:The New York Times looks at the careful handling by a South Florida judge of the hearings in the civil case over the collapse of a condominium building in Surfside, Fla., last year that killed 98 people.
⚖️ Back on Track: After languishing for nearly a year and a half, the nomination of Rachel Wainer Apter as an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court will move forward.
✖️ Clipped: The Wing, a social club founded by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan in 2016, was shut down by its parent company following years of controversy over its lack of diversity and financial setbacks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
🏅 Munich Moments: The New York Times interviewed Olympian Mark Spitz, who took home seven gold medals during the 1972 Olympics in Munich, about setting multiple world records alongside the tragedy that unfolded days later when Israeli athletes were taken hostage and murdered.
🤝 Compensation Payment: The families of the Israelis murdered at the 1972 Olympics reached a settlement with the German government worth nearly $28 million in the days leading up to a 50th anniversary commemoration, which the families had threatened to boycott.
🕍 Returning Home: The Jewish community in Las Vegas, N.M., is attempting to purchase back the 19th-century building that was the site of New Mexico Territory’s first synagogue, which has been owned by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe since the 1950s.
📜 Rabbinical Resolution: More than 75 rabbis in Russia gathered in Moscow to issue a resolution declaring their commitment to serving the country’s Jewish community.
🔫 Spy Charges: Hamas executed five Palestinians in Gaza, two of whom the terror group alleged had spied on behalf of Israel.
🎖️ Top Brass: Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi was nominated to be the IDF’s chief of staff, and will replace Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi in January 2023.
💗 Dangerous Liaisons?: Israel scrapped a requirement that would have forced foreign visitors in the West Bank to declare romantic relationships with Palestinians living there.
🚢 Safe Harbor: A Turkish warship docked in Haifa’s port for a NATO drill, the first ship from the Mediterranean country to dock in Israel in more than a decade.
🚌 Bus Attack: Five Israeli soldiers and a civilian bus driver were injured in an attack by Palestinian gunmen on a bus carrying the troops through the West Bank.
🛢️ Oil Deal: U.S. Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein will travel to Beirut later this week amid continued talks between Lebanon and Israel over disputed maritime oil fields.
✈️ Flight Ban: The Israel Aviation Authority will ban Boeing 747s and similar aircraft from Israeli airspace beginning next year, in an effort to reduce noise and air pollution.
💒 Mazal Tov: The New York Sun’s Raina Weinstein married lawyer and NYU Law adjunct professor Max Raskin on Sunday in Round Hill, Va. The couple met last fall at a Shabbat dinner.
🕯️ Remembering: Activist and author Barbara Ehrenreich died at 81.
Pic of the Day
United Hatzalah’s founder and president, Eli Beer, shows Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz a ceramic bulletproof vest that will be given to volunteers as part of a wider effort by the organization to distribute 1,500 vests throughout the country. Gantz visited United Hatzalah’s Jerusalem headquarters on Sunday alongside MKs Yael Ron Ben-Moshe and Ruth Wasserman Lande.
Oncologist and bioethicist, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Ezekiel Jonathan “Zeke” Emanuel turns 65…
Retired 36-year member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Sander Levin turns 91… Co-founder and chairman of Murray Hill Properties in NYC, Norman Sturner turns 82… Retired director of the Robotics Laboratory at the Technion, Jacob Rubinovitz turns 75… Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee, Helene Weinstein turns 70… Co-founder in 2008 of Kol HaNeshamah: The Center for Jewish Life and Enrichment and co-author of a new siddur, Dr. Adena Karen Berkowitz… Founding managing director at Olympus Capital, Daniel R. Mintz… Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie turns 60… Rabbi of Temple Shalom in Louisville, Ky., Beth Jacowitz Chottiner turns 58… Treasurer of Southfield, Mich., Irv “Moishe” Lowenberg… Chess Grandmaster since age 14, Ben Finegold turns 53… Director in the NYC office of AIPAC, Joe Richards… Chief communications officer at Bloomberg LP, Jason Schechter… Israeli film, television and stage actor, Amos Tamam turns 45… Author, he won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel The Netanyahus, Joshua Cohen turns 42… Retired rabbi at Beth El Synagogue in Minneapolis, now a consultant, Avi S. Olitzky… Communications director at the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale University, Ari Schaffer… Australian-born entrepreneur, now living in NYC, he is the co-founder of two startups, Ben Pasternak turns 23… Actor whose career started at 8 years old and continues through the present, Asher Angel turns 20… Principal at Avisa Partners, Daniel Flesch… Toronto-based publisher and philanthropist, Elisa Morton Palter… Madi Portugal…