👋 Good Tuesday morning!
In today’s Daily Kickoff, we look at Rep. Shri Thanedar’s evolution on Israel, and have the scoop on a bipartisan, bicameral effort to push the Department of Education to address a backlog of campus antisemitism investigations. Also in today’s Daily Kickoff: Nikki Haley, Sohrab Ahmari and Gov. Josh Green.
What does a suspended government official do with his newfound free time?
If you’re Rob Malley, the State Department’s Iran envoy, you become a visiting professor at some of the country’s top universities.
Malley, who is on leave from the State Department while under federal investigation, will join Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs this semester as a senior fellow, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch reports.
The appointment was announced last week on the same day that Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs made public its plans to hire Malley this semester as its John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professor and Visiting Lecturer. The announcements from Yale and Princeton did not mention Malley’s suspension from the State Department, or the document probe. (A spokesperson for the Jackson School did not respond to an inquiry from JI.)
Malley has been on leave from the State Department since at least June amid an investigation into his alleged mishandling of federal documents. The FBI is investigating the matter, CBS News reported in June.
That Malley landed the two prestigious gigs while on indefinite leave from the government suggests that his reputation has not been hurt by the news of the investigation, which was revealed in June. Secretary of State Tony Blinken has thrown his support behind Malley, who helped negotiate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. But the investigation sparked the ire of congressional Republicans, who already disapproved of Malley’s approach to Iran.
It is not clear whether Malley’s faculty appointments at Yale and Princeton — where the fall semester lasts until December — signal that he will remain on leave from the State Department for that length of time. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on Monday, and a Department of Justice spokesperson declined to comment on the investigation. Read more here.
Longtime Jerusalem Post reporter Lahav Harkov is joining Jewish Insider as a senior political correspondent. Lahav officially joins our team in September and we look forward to delivering her reporting to you.
In 2022, AIPAC opposed Shri Thanedar. This month he went to Israel with the group
Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-MI) — then a state representative aiming to make the leap to Congress — was a top target for AIPAC’s super PAC in 2022, which spent millions opposing him in the Democratic primary. Earlier this month, as a first-term lawmaker, Thanedar traveled to Israel with the AIPAC-affiliated American Israel Education Foundation, and says that he’s worked to educate himself about Israel, putting any tensions with Michigan’s pro-Israel community in the past. Thanedar told Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod following his trip to Israel that he has gone through a “big learning experience,” as a candidate and since coming to Congress.
Background: Last year’s opposition to Thanedar was driven in part by his co-sponsorship of a resolution in the Michigan House urging Congress to halt aid to Israel, referring to it as an “apartheid state” and accusing the country of violating human rights. By the time he launched his congressional bid, Thanedar had distanced himself from that resolution and touted a more pro-Israel line. “When I worked in the Statehouse, we hardly focused on foreign policy,” he explained. “[Israel] certainly is a vibrant, liberal democracy. No doubt about that,” Thanedar continued. “And they are an important ally of the United States. It’s a dangerous region. Israel is really the only democracy surrounded by some hostile elements.”
Takeaways: Thanedar said he was particularly struck by conversations during his recent trip to Israel with people who had been impacted by terrorist rocket attacks and by seeing the strategic threats to Israel firsthand, as well as gaining a new understanding of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. “It highlighted why protecting or helping Israel defend herself, by herself, is very essential and critical to our national security and our national interest,” the Michigan congressman said. “It’s a relationship that is mutually beneficial.” Thanedar said he concluded from the trip that a two-state solution is not imminent, and questioned whether the Palestinian Authority “actually has the authority to deliver a peace, even if a peace agreement is reached.” But, he added, the U.S. is the only international power in the position to broker peace and has a “moral authority” to do so.
Moving on: Thanedar said there’s no lingering bad blood between himself and AIPAC, despite its past opposition to him. Thanedar said he decided to join the AIEF trip after conversations with pro-Israel leaders in his district, including former AIPAC President David Victor. Victor invited Thanedar to a local presentation by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the former Democratic leader who led AIEF freshman trips for decades. “[Hoyer] talked a lot about what happens on this [trip],” Thanedar said. “I was really impressed because he talked about meeting citizens, meeting people, talking to different politicians, opposition leaders, all the things that happen in this trip. I was fascinated, and I thought, ‘I want to learn more about Israel.’ It was Steny’s speech and talk that motivated me to go.”
on the trail
Haley hits Ramaswamy over call to curtail aid to Israel
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, blasted GOP rival Vivek Ramaswamy for recent comments calling to curtail U.S. aid to Israel, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Aid assessment: Ramaswamy, who has risen to third place in some recent polls, said in interviews last week that after 2028, when the current U.S. aid package expires, additional aid to Israel compared to other nations in the region “won’t be necessary” because he plans to negotiate broader normalization between Israel and its neighbors. Ramaswamy also said the U.S. should not have a “North Star commitment to any one country, other than the United States of America.”
Haley’s comment: Haley, a pro-Israel stalwart, criticized Ramaswamy’s comments in a statement on Monday. “Vivek Ramaswamy is completely wrong to call for ending America’s special bond with Israel,” Haley said. “Support for Israel is both the morally right and strategically smart thing to do. Both countries are stronger and safer because of our iron-clad friendship. As president, I will never abandon Israel.”
Ramaswany reax: A Ramaswamy spokesperson denied to JI that the candidate had called for “treating Israel like other Middle East countries,” highlighting comments by Ramaswamy this weekend in response to critics of his stance. Ramaswamy said on social media the U.S. “will not leave Israel hanging out to dry — ever,” and that it would be “better for everyone if Israel is truly able to stand on its own feet with support from partners across the Middle East that we diplomatically bring to the table.”
Lawmakers press Department of Education on campus antisemitism
A bipartisan group of 84 lawmakers wrote to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona pressing for information on the Department of Education’s plans to resolve a backlog of investigations into campus antisemitism and improve protections for Jewish students, Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod reports.
Role to play: The lawmakers, led by Reps. Kathy Manning (D-NC) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and James Lankford (R-OK), the leaders of the bipartisan antisemitism task forces in each chamber, wrote in a letter obtained by JI that the department “has a key role to play in the federal government’s efforts to counter antisemitism” and that they are “deeply concerned about the rise of antisemitic incidents at universities and college campuses.”
Next steps: The House and Senate members pressed the department to “swiftly investigate” pending complaints of antisemitism, and asked for answers on how it is working to resolve a backlog of cases and what additional resources it needs to do so. They also called on the department to “undertake concerted efforts” to encourage reporting antisemitic incidents on campuses, which they described as “woefully underreported.” They asked how the department plans to help schools improve reporting of antisemitic incidents on their campuses, communicate best practices and provide assistance to schools in ensuring civil rights protections for Jewish students, and ensure that students and others are familiar with resources for addressing discrimination.
🇮🇱 Adams Abroad: In the Jerusalem Post, New York City Mayor Eric Adams — who is visiting Israel this week — touts his support for the Jewish state. “I am aware that my trip comes at a pivotal moment for Israel. As mayor of a city whose residents can hold widely differing and opposing views on many subjects, I understand the importance of working through contentious issues and having difficult discussions. Democracy is never easy, and it is only by confronting our differences that we can emerge stronger. While this is my first trip to Israel as mayor of New York City, I have visited twice before. Each time, I have felt a deeper connection to the country: the people, the food, the culture – and I look forward to deepening that bond even further. Israel and New York City have so much in common, the country feels like a second home to me. We share the same drive to always be better, and to fight for democracy, prosperity, and peace, and that is why Israel and New York City will always remain great partners.” [JPost]
⚽ Soccer Sojourn: The Financial Times’ Samuel Agini spotlights the efforts of Stephen Ross’ Relevent Sports, under the leadership of Ross’ son-in-law Daniel Sillman, to grow soccer’s popularity in the U.S. “The rise of the 34-year-old Sillman in the world of sport started when he was still a student at Michigan Ross, the business school named after Relevent’s owner. While there, Sillman emailed Ross for guidance about his business advising professional athletes and the pair struck up a rapport. Sillman eventually sold the business and joined the billionaire’s venture arm in 2014 before becoming chief executive of Relevent three years later at the age of 28. He has also been Ross’s son-in-law since 2020. ‘I know him and I work with him and he works hours and hours and hours,’ said Ferran Soriano, chief executive of City Football Group, which owns Premier League champions Manchester City. Relevent’s pitch to link the US and European football predates Sillman. That vision came from co-founder Charlie Stillitano, a former general manager of the New York-based MLS side that would later become the New York Red Bulls. Stillitano, who has since left the company, used his decades of experience in football to build Relevent up in the sport.” [FT]
📚 Documenting History: In the Washington Post, Jane Eisner examines the debate around a conference in Poland focused on the life and writings of Holocaust survivor Clara Rosenfarb. “By commemorating Rosenfarb’s life and work, and more widely sharing her stories, [Joanna] Podolska and her colleagues are also learning about their own past. ‘We see some parts of the history of our city, which most readers didn’t know about before because it was a Jewish history,’ Podolska explained. ‘Sometimes Jews had a different view of the same city. It is a new perspective.’ But will more Poles be as interested in this new perspective? Especially if in extricating the past they stumble upon evidence of their own national complicity? ‘For the country as a whole, this is one of the best times in history: independence, good economy, a defense umbrella,’ Samuel Kassow, a historian of Polish Jewry, told me. ‘Yet it’s a very conflicted country because for so long they built their identity as victims, not perpetrators. It is hard for them to look at the good and the bad in their history.’” [WashPost]
🇮🇷 Talking Tehran: In The Wall Street Journal, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Ray Takeyh assesses how the narrative around the 1953 coup that overthrew the Iranian government has impacted policy-making decisions over the last seven decades. “The 1953 coup is a rare intelligence operation that has penetrated our national narrative. The left laments a coup it doesn’t understand, commemorating it in Hollywood films such as ‘Argo.’ Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright even remarked that ‘the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention in their internal affairs.’ For Democrats, the coup’s lessons are clear: America should avoid taking sides in Iranian politics because the results are bound to be bad. Setting the record straight on 1953 is the first step toward a sensible Iran policy.” [WSJ]
🏖️ Green Gov: The New York Times’ Shawn Hubler profiles Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, as the first-term governor grapples with wildfires that have torched the island of Maui. “Mr. Green, who was born in Kingston in upstate New York and raised in suburban Pittsburgh, has an unconventional political story. His father ran a family-owned civil and structural engineering company; his mother was a local organizer for the National Organization for Women. He jokes that when his parents went to Woodstock, he ‘was there in utero.’ He was born deaf, he said, but not diagnosed until he was a toddler. His hearing was surgically repaired, but the loss left him with speech challenges that took years to overcome…. [As an emergency room physician] Mr. Green campaigned in scrubs for his legislative district and was elected. A week after arriving at the Capitol on Oahu, he said, he met his wife, Jaime, a lawyer who was clerking for a state senator. He held two jobs, as a lawmaker and an emergency physician for the next 18 years until he became governor.” [NYTimes]
Around the Web
❓ MBS Meetup?: President Joe Biden is mulling a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman next month in New Delhi, where both will be attending the G20 summit.
🙅♂️ Third Way: No Labels co-chair Larry Hogan, who until earlier this year was the Republican governor of Maryland, again ruled out a 2024 presidential campaign of his own, but said it is “very likely” a third-party candidate will make a bid for the White House.
🗳️ Texas Tussle: The Messengerlooks at how Texas Senate candidate Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) is positioning himself as the “anti-Beto” O’Rourke, who failed to oust Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) six years ago.
🎤 Shapiro on the Go: Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro was announced as the keynote speaker at next month’s New Hampshire Democratic Party convention.
👩🏽 Turtle Bay Talk: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield addressed recent violence in Israel and the West Bank during a U.N. Security Council briefing.
👨 All Politics is Local: Former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is getting involved in the mayoral election in Carmel, Ind., on behalf of Democrat Miles Nelson, a longtime Klain family friend.
👔 Reorg: Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg shook up his leadership team, tapping former Bank of England governor Mark Carney to lead the board of directors, Chief Product Officer Vlad Kliatchko to be the company’s CEO and COO JP Zammitt as the president of Bloomberg LP.
✍️ Spotlight on Sohrab: The New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg spotlights conservative writer Sohrab Ahmari.
👋 (No Longer) Stuck With You: Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun, who has managed the pop superstar since he was a teenager, have reportedly not spoken in months, amid reports that other clients of Braun’s, including singers Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato, have parted ways with the celebrity manager.
🗞️ Media Matters: Jonathan Alter interviewed Norm Pearlstein about the past and future of the media industry.
🇬🇹 Election Results: Guatemalan diplomat Bernardo Arévalo, who lived in Israel first when his father served as ambassador to the country and again while working in the Guatemalan foreign ministry, was elected president of the Central American nation with roughly 58% of the vote.
🥙 Sampling Sabich:Tasting Table spotlights the popular Israeli dish sabich.
🚔 Apprehended: Israeli officials arrested two Palestinians in connection with a terror attack on Monday in which an Israeli schoolteacher was killed near Hebron.
🛰️ Drone Deal: The Netherlands will purchase a multilayered counter-drone system from Israel’s Elbit Systems in a $55 million deal.
🪧 On Strike: Arab municipalities in Israel are striking following an announcement by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich that he is freezing hundreds of millions of shekels earmarked for Arab communities.
💸 Moving Money: Roughly $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds was transferred last week to a Swiss bank from South Korea as part of a prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Iran that officials in Tehran said would take roughly two months.
🛢️ Oil Delivery: Iran has exported more than 2 million barrels of oil a day in the month of August, with most of the shipments being sent to China.
☠️ Sarin Saga: The Washington Post reports on efforts by survivors of a mass sarin gas attack in Syria to seek justice, 10 years after the deadly attack that killed more than 1,400 people.
🕯️ Remembering: IDF intelligence officer Yaakov Nimrodi, who established the Mossad’s operations in Tehran, died at 97. Sociologist Howard Becker, the author of the 1963 book Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance, died at 95.
Pic of the Day
Thousands of people pray at the Kotel in Jerusalem over the weekend at the first of 17 Selichot events leading up to Yom Kippur.
Professional baseball player for nine years, he now manages a foundation for families affected by Alzheimer’s, Braden Adam Bishop turns 30…
Emmy Award-winning television news journalist, Morton Dean turns 88… Former director of Prozdor, the high school program of the Hebrew College in Newton, Mass., Margie Berkowitz… Founder, co-CEO and co-chief investment officer at Elliott Management Corporation and Jewish philanthropist, Paul Elliott Singer turns 79… Professor emeritus of Bible and Hebrew literature at both Bar Ilan University and Harvard, James Kugel turns 78… Dermatologist in Beverly Hills, Joyce Naness Fox, MD… Founder of the magazine American Lawyer and the cable channel Court TV (now TruTV), he also co-founded NewsGuard, Steven Brill turns 73… Former chief of staff to VPOTUS Dick Cheney, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby (family name was Liebovitz) turns 73… Former chairman of Israel Military Industries, he was a member of the Knesset for the Yisrael Beiteinu party, Yitzhak Aharonovich turns 73… Robin Zetzel Elcott… Former MLB outfielder, then investment banker, he was the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and has served as president of B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, Ambassador Mark Gilbert turns 67… Former investment banker who left his job to run a Los Angeles-based homeless service provider, he is now a professor at USC, Adlai W. Wertman turns 64… Chairwoman of Israel’s Strauss Group, Ofra Strauss turns 63… Co-founder of Marquis Jet and part owner of the Atlanta Hawks, Jesse Itzler turns 55… Director of political information and education at AIPAC, Ed Miller… Director of strategic partnerships at The Paul E. Singer Foundation, Deborah Hochberg… Partner at Ducat Investment Group, Michael A. Fragin… Director of operations at the University of Pennsylvania Hillel, Rachel Saifer Goldman… Partner in the Century City office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Stuart A. Graiwer… Co-executive director of Christians United for Israel, Shari Dollinger Magnus… Attorney and author, best known for her New York Times bestselling book, Notorious R.B.G.: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Shana Knizhnik turns 35… Principal at CSR Operations LLC, an HR consultancy, Claire Stein-Ross… Actor known for his role as statistical genius Sylvester Dodd in the television series “Scorpion,” Ari Stidham turns 31…