Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: June 5, 2018

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Rudy Giuliani.
Rudy Giuliani.Credit: \ Joshua Roberts/ REUTERS
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DRIVING THE CONVO -- "Howard Schultz to Step Down as Starbucks Executive Chairman" by Andrew Ross Sorkin: "Mr. Schultz’s decision to retire, a plan he said he privately outlined to the board a year ago, will most likely stoke speculation that he is considering a run for president in 2020... On Monday he acknowledged for the first time that it is something he may consider. “I want to be truthful with you without creating more speculative headlines,” he told The New York Times. “For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country — the growing division at home and our standing in the world.” 

"Asked directly if he was considering running for president, he said: “I intend to think about a range of options, and that could include public service. But I’m a long way from making any decisions about the future.”" [NYTimes]  Here's the Campaign Howard Schultz Could Run for President [Time]

"Schultz 2020? Other C.E.O.s Will Be Watching Closely" by David Gelles: "Although no chief executive has thus far undertaken a formal bid for the White House, and Mr. Trump’s victory may well prove an historical anomaly, many have been pegged as potential candidates, including Oprah Winfrey; Bob Iger, the chief executive of Disney; and Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks... When asked on Monday if he had given any more thought to a presidential bid, Mr. Cuban emailed, “Yes. But not willing to discuss at this point.”" [NYT]

HEADLINE DEPT: "Republican Megadonor David Koch Is Stepping Down From His Corporate And Political Roles" [BuzzFeed]

DRIVING THE DAY -- "Eight States Have Primaries on Tuesday. Here’s What to Watch For" by Maggie Astor: "Eight states are holding primaries on Tuesday: Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. It will be the busiest primary day of the year so far, as voters choose the candidates who will face off on Nov. 6." [NYTimes; CNN

"Californians Go to Polls With High Stakes and Some High Anxiety" by Jonathan Martin: "After pouring millions into television commercials, digital advertising and mailers in side-by-side districts held by Representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Darrell Issa and Ed Royce, all Republicans, Democrats remained uncertain that one of their own would emerge as one of the two leaders. Under California’s so-called top-two system, only the two top vote-getters, regardless of party, make it to the November ballot... And in the Senate race, Ms. Feinstein has overwhelmed her leading Democratic opponent, Kevin de León, the State Senate president, with money — some of which she gave herself." [NYTimes]

2018 WATCH: "DNC Deputy Chair Ellison expected to run for Minnesota AG" by Edward-Isaac Dovere: "Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is expected to make a last-minute entry into the race for Minnesota attorney general on Tuesday... “I will make a decision tomorrow because it’s the filling deadline,” Ellison said, not disputing that he is likely to enter the election. Ellison has been... chafing for months at both roles: being in the minority in Congress and being subsumed to DNC Chairman Tom Perez." [Politico]

HOLLYWOOD -- "Keshet & HBO Turning ‘Rise And Kill First’ Into Limited TV Series On Mossad’s Secret Assassination Missions" by Mike Fleming Jr: "Israeli producer Keshet International has teamed with HBO to option the bestselling Ronen Bergman book Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations... The initial intention is for Keshet and HBO to create and co-produce an English-language limited series that will be shot in Israel... Keshet is best known in the U.S. for originating Hatufim (Prisoners of War), the Israeli drama that was the basis for the Emmy-winning Showtime series Homeland." [Deadline]

HEARD YESTERDAY -- "Ben Rhodes: I'd be 'surprised' if Israel didn't know about Black Cube spy firm" by Peter Martinez: "All I know is that I would be very surprised if a group of former Mossad agents are somehow operating without the knowledge of the Israeli government in some fashion," [Rhodes said in an interview on CBSN's Red & Blue]. "I know how intelligence operates -- and again it's hard for me to fathom a scenario where ... the Israeli government didn't know it was going on. The U.S.-Israel relationship is so important ... the politics should be adamant," Rhodes added. "I do think it's important that this shouldn't happen and I wouldn't like it if a bunch of former CIA people were trying to dig up dirt on Israelis. I think this is crossing a line that's blending potentially politics and national security in a way that in the long term is not good for anybody." [CBSNews

"The World as It Is review: Ben Rhodes' Obama legacy defense has weak spots" by Lloyd Green: "Rhodes quotes Obama complaining that negotiating with Benjamin Netanyahu was like dealing with the Republicans. Rhodes... recounts how even during Obama’s battle for the Democratic nomination, the then-senator expressed a willingness to meet with Iran and Cuba, without preconditions... Rhodes glosses over the fact that Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at state, met the Iranians in 2012 when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in office. Rhodes also omits that Israel discovered the 2013 meetings after monitoring American aircraft in Oman – before Obama had told Netanyahu. Suffice to say, that did not improve an already toxic relationship." [TheGuardian]

TALK OF THE REGION -- Iran has begun work on infrastructure to build advanced centrifuges at Natanz site: "Iran has begun working on infrastructure for building advanced centrifuges at its Natanz facility, Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation said on Tuesday. Iran’s nuclear activities would remain within the framework of the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, Salehi said." [Reuters]  Iran Moves to Lift Its Nuclear Enrichment Capacity [NYT]

"Netanyahu says not surprised by Iran's enrichment intentions" by Ori Lewis: “Two days ago, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s leader, declared that his intention is to destroy the State of Israel. Yesterday, he said how he would do this, by unlimited enrichment in order to produce an arsenal of nuclear bombs,” Netanyahu said in a video statement... “We are not surprised, we will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons." [Reuters; Video]

"Israel trolls Iran’s Khamenei with ‘Mean Girls’ GIF on Twitter" by Tamar Pileggi: "Khamenei lashed out at Israel in a series of tweets, calling the Jewish state the “cancerous tumor” of the region that must be “removed and eradicated.” The Israeli Embassy in Washington replied with a GIF asking, “Why are you so obsessed with me?” featuring Rachel McAdams in the 2004 movie “Mean Girls.”" [ToI]

"Israel’s Netanyahu Urges Germany to Help Curb Iran" by Felicia Schwartz: "Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday urged his counterpart in Germany to help curb Iran’s nuclear and regional ambitions... Mr. Netanyahu said Israel has shared with Germany information about Iran’s nuclear program that he said had been retrieved from what he called “a secret Iranian archive.”" [WSJ; AP]

Netanyahu meets with U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell -- by Noa Landau: "Netanyahu briefly met Grenell before flying to Paris, where he will sit down with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. "The meeting was at their initiative," Netanyahu told Israeli reporters. It is considered unusual for a prime minister to meet with an ambassador in a third country. "We thought it would be a courtesy meeting at the airport. He's a big fan of Israel. But now, because we’re running late, it will be nothing more than a handshake," Netanyahu added." [Haaretz]

"Safe in Hungary, Viktor Orban Pushes His Message Across Europe" by Patrick Kingsley: "In consolidating power in Hungary, Mr. Orban has recognized the huge power of media and now seems intent on trying to expand his sphere of influence. Last year, one of his closest advisers, Arpad Habony, met with Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, in Washington. The purpose of the visit, according to a person familiar with the meeting, was to discuss starting an outlet in Eastern Europe like Breitbart News." [NYTimes]

"Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Praises Hungary for 'Zero Tolerance to anti-Semitism'" by Amir Tibon: "Israel's embassy in the United States hosted an event in honor of Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto... Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer... said that Israel "greatly appreciates its friendship with Hungary and the support received in international organizations, as well as the Hungarian prime minister’s statement regarding zero-tolerance policy against anti-Semitism." He also reportedly said that "it is not surprising that one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe lives in Hungary."" [Haaretz

"Putin Teases That His Troll-Factory Ally Is Just Like Soros" by Ilya Arkhipov and Boris Groendahl: "In an interview with Austria’s ORF television released Monday, [Russian President Vladimir Putin] drew a parallel to financier George Soros... “He intervenes in things all over the world,” Putin said.. “But the State Department will tell you that it has nothing to do with that, that this is the personal business of Mr. Soros.” ... “Well for us, this is the personal business of Mr. Prigozhin,” Putin said, referring to Yevgeny Prigozhin." [Bloomberg]

"Despite embassy relocation, Trump signs presidential waiver" by Raphael Ahren: "US President Donald Trump on Monday signed a presidential waiver that suspends for six months a law mandating the US embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — despite the fact that the embassy officially opened in Jerusalem last month... “In addition to requiring a move of the embassy, the Jerusalem Embassy Act also requires a transfer of the chief of mission residence. Until that transfer is completed, the waiver that is provided under the Act remains necessary,” a US embassy official told The Times of Israel." [ToI]

In an interview with Globes in Tel Aviv, Rudy Giuliani says he’s seen Trump’s peace plan: “I saw the plan. Theoretically, this is a plan with pure logic. Practically speaking, who knows? They (the Palestinians) cannot be trusted. But I'm not the one who advised the president about peace plan with the Palestinians. I come to this whole thing from a much tougher point, since the 1970s, when I was working on charges against the PLO. All of the peace plans I have seen over the years have not progressed anywhere President Trump has the most realistic understanding of the conflict, more than any American President in the past.” [Globes]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Cordish Companies to open Live Hotel, adding to casino complex in Hanover [BaltimoreSun]  Brookfield could rescue Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue [NYPost]  U.S. Real Estate Moguls Flock to Israel to Issue Bonds [Calcalist]  Loews Hotels CEO Jonathan Tisch: We're 'losing market share' due to Trump's extreme vetting of foreign visitors [CNBC

PROFILE: "Diane von Furstenberg is ready for her third act" by Robin Givhan: "After more than 45 years in fashion, Diane von Furstenberg has been looking for a graceful exit. She is 71, and she has designed a lot of frocks. But now, von Furstenberg is ready to be done with fashion. Getting out is hard. It’s not just a matter of deciding what will become of a business that she founded in 1972 and resurrected from the dustbins in the late 1990s. She has considered selling it. She may yet take on an investor. Her granddaughter, Talita von Furstenberg, will definitely go to work for the company." [WashPost]

"Moguls Converging on Sun Valley Risk Some Awkward Moments" by Anousha Sakoui and Christopher Palmeri: "When the billionaires and corporate moguls converge on Idaho’s Sun Valley resort in early July for Allen & Co.’s annual conference, the investment bank may need to give a lot of thought to the seating chart. Quite a few attendees expected to be at this year’s confab are at each other’s throats. Take CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves. He’s locked in a legal fight for control of the broadcast company with top shareholder Shari Redstone, who is also on the guest list... Comcast Corp. Chairman Brian Roberts is invited as well. He’s battling Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger for control of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets...  The world of sports is represented by, among others, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, National Hockey League commission Gary Bettman, and agent Casey Wasserman." [Bloomberg]

"Paul Ryan, Michael Bloomberg, Meg Whitman to speak at Mitt Romney's annual political retreat" by Lisa Riley: "Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will join U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Mitt Romney's annual political retreat this week... About 250 people, including big-money GOP donors, are expected to attend what's known as the Experts and Enthusiasts Summit, set to start Thursday and end Saturday at the Stein Eriksen Lodge at Deer Valley." [DesertNews]

"A Longtime Israeli-Palestinian Friendship Falls Apart" by Lulu Garcia-Navarro and Emma Bowman: "Dana Levy and Mohammed Saqar met in the late 1990s, as teenagers at a Seeds of Peace summer camp in the U.S. Both had lost family in the region's conflicts, but they became friends and kept in touch by phone... A younger Dana acknowledged that to preserve their friendship, she and Mohammed couldn't discuss their beliefs: "We wouldn't be able to be friends if we talked about politics. How can you be friends with your enemy?" she asked... That friendship though has not endured the test of time and war. She continues to live in Tel Aviv and he's still in Gaza. "So much has changed actually," Dana told us recently... Mohammed didn't want to speak directly to Dana. On a scratchy phone line in the Gazan city of Khan Younis, he says he no longer believes that people who are enemies can be just friends." [NPR]

SPORTS BLINK -- "Trump Calls Off Philadelphia Eagles Visit After Anthem-Related Boycott Threat" by Michael Shear: "President Trump abruptly called off the White House celebration honoring the Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles after nearly all of the players and coaches said they would boycott the visit... The president said he would “be there at 3 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.” ... The Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie... did not respond to an email requesting comment late Monday night. [NYTimes]

-- Politico's Annie Karni tweets: "WH official tells me -- last Thurs, the Eagles submitted 70+ names to attend. On Fri, Eagles tried to resked event for days when POTUS was gonna be in Singapore. On Mon, they said the group avail on pre-planned date wld be TWO or THREE players + owner + MASCOT." 

TALK OF THE TOWN -- "Neighbors Face Off With A New Orthodox School In Kensington As Boro Park Bursts At The Seams" by Liena Zagare: "Last Thursday night about 40 residents finally gathered at a meeting with the Clara Street School that they had been asking for for 9 months, hoping to address issues of idling school buses, garbage, noisy generators, and constant evening events at the school. The clash is the latest in an escalating series of battles between the booming Orthodox community and their neighbors over community institutions that have been springing up at the edges of Boro Park." [Bklyner]

"Israel opening nature museum, with evolution exhibit" by Ilan Ben Zion: "The ultra-modern ark-shaped edifice is set to open in July alongside the Tel Aviv University campus and houses over 5.5 million specimens of species from around the globe. But the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History places special emphasis on the flora and fauna indigenous to the Holy Land and Middle East. The $40 million project, decades in the making, was funded in large part by American billionaire Michael Steinhardt, a major donor to Israel who keeps a menagerie of exotic animals on his estate north of Manhattan." [ABCNews]

Jewish groups offer mixed reactions to Supreme Court religious-liberty case: "In a 7-2 decision on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case announced on Monday, the Supreme Court sided with a Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, who had refused to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple on religious grounds... Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said his group was also “disappointed” in the ruling, but that “fortunately, the decision was narrow, focusing on the Commission’s religious partiality in rendering its decision against the baker.”  

"However, Orthodox Jewish groups expressed support the decision. “Today, the U.S. Supreme Court sent a clear message: that the demonization of religious beliefs, especially in policymaking, is constitutionally unacceptable,” said Nathan J. Diament, executive director of public policy for the Orthodox Union." [JNS]

TRANSITION -- Halie Soifer, who has advised Sens. Ted Kaufman and Chris Coons from Delaware, Kamala Harris (D-CA), Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), and the Obama administration on Mideast policy, has been appointed as Executive Director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA). Soifer also served as the Obama campaign’s Florida Jewish vote director in 2008.

Former NJDC Chair Marc Stanley, Susan Stern and Michael Hershfield are joining the Board of Directors of Israel Policy Forum, Israel Policy Forum chair Susie Gelman announced today. “We are delighted and honored to have leaders with the deep involvement in and commitment to Israel, public service and Jewish communal causes that Marc, Susan and Michael have demonstrated over the years join our Board,” Gelman noted.

BIRTHDAYS: Owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft turns 77... First Lady of Israel since 2014, Nechama Rivlin turns 73... Lithuanian-born Holocaust survivor, co-founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, Virginia, Jay M. Ipson turns 83... Barbara Pergament turns 80... Broker associate of the Santa Monica, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services branch, Saul Bubis turns 78... Dan Yurman turns 70... Linda Greenfield turns 68... Author of ten personal finance books, financial advisor, motivational speaker and television host, Susan Lynn "Suze" Orman turns 67... Office manager at Burbank Temple Emanu El in Burbank, California, Audrey Freedman-Habush turns 67... Portrait photographer and visual anthropologist, Penny Diane Wolin turns 65... Commissioner on the US International Trade Commission (2007-2017), now a trade attorney at Hughes Hubbard, Dean A. Pinkert turns 62... Best-selling instrumental musician, the saxophonist "Kenny G," Kenneth Bruce Gorelick turns 62... 

General counsel in the Brentwood, California office of Pacific Union International, Sam Kraemer turns 58... Optometrist, in 2014 she was elected as a member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament belonging to the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, Gila Deborah Martow turns 57... Partner in the government law and policy practice of Greenberg Traurig, he was previously Deputy Secretary of Legislative Affairs for New York State and member of the New York City Council, Mark Weprin turns 57... Member since 2010 of the Virginia House of Delegates from the Fairfax County suburbs of Washington DC, Eileen R. Filler-Corn turns 54... Member of the British Parliament since 2005 from the Conservative Party, he served as Minister of Culture (2010-2016) under PM David Cameron, Ed Vaizey turns 50... Entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author, co-founder and CEO of Bottlenose, a Los Angeles-based company, a leading pioneer in semantic web technology, Nova Spivack turns 49... Professor of political science, international affairs and Israel studies at Northeastern University in Boston, Dov Waxman turns 44... Co-founder of BlueLabs and director of analytics for the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012, his father and grandfather were both rabbis, Elan Alter Kriegel turns 37... Director of policy at Ed Choice, Jason Bedrick turns 35... Operations manager at the Texas Hillel Foundation in Austin, Texas, Arielle Levy turns 29... Clara Moskowitz... Beth A. Freeman... Susan Stein...