Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: March 15, 2016

One theory why Bibi is not coming to D.C. | When Rahm & the founder of WeWork cursed each other in Hebrew | Seth Rogen's Sausage Party

Obama and Netanyahu during their meeting at the White House, September 30, 2013.
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FIRST LOOK -- LongRead: "Adam Neumann's $16 Billion Neo-Utopian Play To Turn WeWork Into WeWorld" by Sarah Kessler: "When Neumann moved into his sister Adi’s New York apartment in 2001, fresh off his service in the Israeli military, what surprised him most was the silence of elevator rides. "Why is nobody talking to each other?" he remembers asking her. "We’re in the same building. How come you don’t know everybody?" In Israel, neighbors have almost the opposite relationship. "If I’m in a neighborhood and I need some salt," he says, "I don’t even need to know the person. I knock on the door and I ask for some salt."

"Neumann fell in love with a former warehouse in his Brooklyn neighborhood, the loft-friendly, rapidly gentrifying Dumbo. He found the landlord, Joshua Guttman, and said, "Give me the building," Neumann recalls. "And he would be like, ‘You’re in baby clothes. What do you know about real estate?’ " Neumann shot right back: "Your building is empty. What do you know about real estate?" Eventually, Guttman, Neumann, and McKelvey cofounded GreenDesk, an environmentally themed coworking space."

"Even more than words, Neumann, who is dyslexic, possesses chutzpah. He quickly learned the real estate business—Rebekah tells me his expertise "is like something from another life"—and he wasn’t intimidated by the powerful people with whom he wanted to do business. When he met Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, someone most people know not to antagonize, Neumann inadvertently, and then intentionally, insulted the mayor’s coworking project, and the two ended up cursing each other in Hebrew."[FastCompany]

TOP TALKER: "Experts: Israel Lacks Leverage Against Iranian Missile Tests" by Barbara Opall-Rome: "Beyond protests and vacuous statements of concern, Israeli experts concede Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his backers in the Western world lack leverage to penalize Iran for its steadily advancing ballistic missile program. That’s because there’s nothing in the nuclear deal negotiated between world powers and Iran to prevent the types of launches that took place last week."[DefenseNews]

"France Tries Again for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks" by Laurence Norman and Rory Jones: "Ayrault’s proposal revives an initiative of his predecessor, Laurent Fabius, who sought to unite a coalition of major powers behind an effort for a deal. But some European diplomats have questioned the timing, warning it is likely to generate little momentum during the U.S. presidential campaign and when EU-Israeli relations have grown cold." [WSJ]

"Netanyahu: Palestinians Rejected Israel's Secret Offer" by Barak Ravid: 
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not update the security cabinet on secret negotiations to restore Palestinian Authority control over West Bank cities because the Palestinians rejected the offer." [Haaretz]

Ben Caspit on "Why Bibi snubbed Obama and is skipping next week's AIPAC conference" -- "The prime minister is concerned about a “diplomatic ambush” from Obama during his last few months in office... Netanyahu reckons that the president would find it easier to carry out such a move if a military aid package for the next decade is signed. A well-publicized signing ceremony would remove the anti-Israeli image that Netanyahu has painted on Obama in recent years. Simultaneously, it would allow the American president to leave behind a diplomatic legacy. Those close to Netanyahu assess that if the sides do not reach an agreement on military aid, it will be harder for Obama to embark on a diplomatic campaign. He will need something to show his even-handedness, Netanyahu’s people think, because he won’t want to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances at the presidency and he won’t want to go down in history as an anti-Israeli president." [AlMonitor]

URJ on Trump at AIPAC: "Reform Judaism’s Chiefs Say They'll Oppose Trump at AIPAC Conference, but Don’t Explain How" by Allison Kaplan Sommer: 
"Will members of the Reform movement hold up protest signs or walk out when Donald Trump addresses the AIPAC conference in a week? An unusual and rather cryptic joint statement.. does not make that clear, but hints at some form of action, saying that “the Reform Movement and our leaders will engage with Mr. Trump at the AIPAC Policy Conference in a way that affirms our nation's democracy and our most cherished Jewish values. We will find an appropriate and powerful way to make our voices heard.” [HaaretzURJ Rob Eshman on Trump & AIPAC [JewishJournal]

DRIVING THE DAY: "Rubio would need a ‘miracle’ to win Florida" by Marc Caputo: "Buried by an avalanche of awful Florida poll numbers, Marco Rubio’s campaign for president has hit the last stage of grief: Acceptance. “Marco’s at peace; he knows he put it all out there and whatever happens happens,” said a longtime Rubio backer and fundraiser. “His faith is real. He knows he has been blessed. But don’t get me wrong: We’re still praying.” [Politico]  "Rubio bet big on a hawkish foreign policy, but voters just aren't buying it" [HuffPost]  "Rubio: Criticism of Israel is New Face of Anti-Semitism" [JI] 

Jason Horowitz in Florida: "A King in His Castle: How Donald Trump Lives, From His Longtime Butler: The king was returning that day to his Versailles, a 118-room snowbird’s paradise that will become a winter White House if he is elected president. Mar-a-Lago is where Mr. Trump comes to escape, entertain and luxuriate in a Mediterranean-style manse, built 90 years ago by the cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post." [NYTimes]

Rabbi David Wolpe: 
"Here’s Who Donald Trump Would Be in the Bible. Hint: Not King David"[TimeMag]

Rep. Steve Israel talks Trump to us: “To the extent that American Jewish voters prioritize Israel’s strength and security as a concern, I do not see how anyone can rationally support a candidate who has publicly professed neutrality towards Israel and its enemies. To say that you are neutral about Israel is to say that you do not support Israel against its adversaries. You can’t say, ‘I am going to be neutral towards Israel,’ and support military assistance to Israel, funding the arrow 2 or arrow 3 program, or funding the Iron Dome. It’s one or the other. You can’t be both.” 

TRUMP HEADLINES: "Trump pastor call for Sanders to ‘meet Jesus’ offends many" [RNS]  "Donald Trump’s Complicated Relationship With Jewish Voters" [TimeMag]  "Trump breaks with Republican orthodoxy on Israel" [FinancialTimes]  "Donald Trump Isn’t Pro-Israel, So Why Are Republican Jews Supporting Him?" [IBTimes Sarah Posner: "How Donald Trump sparked an unprecedented crisis among Jewish Republicans" [TheWeek] "Israelis stump for Trump and feel the Bern" [PRI]

"Warm-Up Speaker at Trump Event Suggests Bernie Sanders Give Christianity a Shot" by Joe DeLessio: "Bernie Sanders, who doesn't believe in God. How in the world are we going to let Bernie? I mean, really? Listen, Bernie gotta get saved. He gotta meet Jesus. He gotta have a come-to-Jesus meeting." [NYMagPolitico]

"Bernie Sanders' candidacy is a first for Jews. Why isn't he talking about it?" by Ben Jacobs:“In a way, it’s a sign of progress that a Jewish American is running for president and it’s not the first identifier but when he’s quoted in newspaper,” Aaron Keyak suggested. “For a people that have been persecuted throughout history and have had governments seek to murder us and destroy our tradition, in that sense it is real progress.” [TheGuardian]

BOROWITZ REPORT: "Sanders Sends Vegan Thugs to Attack Peace-Loving Nazis" [NewYorker]
**Good Tuesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We'd love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: "Adelson's Las Vegas Sands wins new U.S. trial in $100 million Macau case"[Reuters]  "Hotel Chelsea's Money-Sucking Redevelopment Hits Another Snag" [Curbed]  "Created In 1979, Jay Pritzker's Prize Is Still Architecture's Highest Honor" [Forbes "First Israeli Supermarket Chain Said to Open Branch Abroad" [Bloomberg]  "Billionaire Barry Diller clones his dog" [NYPost]

MEDIA WATCH: "James Bennet leaves the Atlantic to take over NYT editorial page" by Brian Stelter: "James Bennet, the editor in chief of The Atlantic magazine for the past decade, is the new editor of the New York Times editorial page. Bennet will succeed Andrew Rosenthal at the beginning of May, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger said Monday." [CNNMoney]

"The Forward Sheds Staff as It Plans for the Future" by John Bonazzo: "The Observer has exclusively learned that The Forward (formerly The Jewish Daily Forward), the premier newspaper for American Jews, laid off nine staff members last week and is “refilling and restructuring” several positions as part of a new strategy and investment plan for growth. “We are investing significantly in our digital platforms, and making some of the changes necessary to be a nimble, 21st century media outlet,” Forward publisher Sam Norich said in a statement to the Observer." [Observer]

TRANSITIONS: "Abe Foxman to head Museum of Jewish Heritage center for study of anti-Semitism: Former Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman will head a new center for the study of “anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust." [JTA]

STARTUP NATION: "The Promised Land of Pot" by Gregg Carlstrom: "Israeli entrepreneurs are hawking everything from cannabis-infused olive oil to vaporizers -- and hoping to get a slice of the lucrative U.S. marijuana market." [ForeignPolicy]

SXSW REVIEW -- Seth Rogen's Sausage Party: "Seth Rogen leads an A-list cast of voice actors playing groceries who don't know what happens once they're taken home from the supermarket. Racial, ethnic, sexual and sociopolitical stereotypes are shamelessly exaggerated and honed to satirical edges, so that a Jewish bagel (Edward Norton) and an Arabic flatbread (David Krumholtz) squabble about territorial incursions in the shopping aisles. No: Sausage Party is not subtle in its lampooning of the conflict in the Middle East — and when it later gets to other "ethnic foods," it happily plays with all sorts of stereotypes, from a bottle of firewater that sounds like Johnny Depp's Tonto to a box of grits with a grudge against crackers." [HollywoodReporterVariety]

SCENE THE OTHER NIGHT -- by Susan Freudenheim: “I don’t often speak publicly about my religion,” retiring California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said on the evening of March 13 as she took the stage to be honored at “AJWS at 30: Celebrating Our Global Leaders.” The evening’s honorees also included Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and bioethicist best-known as the architect of Obamacare; Alejandra Ancheita, a Mexican land- and labor-rights activist and attorney; and AJWS president of 18 years, Ruth Messinger, who on July 1 will step down to become AJWS’s first global ambassador."[JewishJournal]

BIRTHDAYS: Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a.k.a. Notorious RBG, turns 83... British billionaire and philanthropist, Sir Philip Green, turns 64... Animator and director of The Simpsons, David Silverman, turns 59... Justin Hefter... Author and former NYC Public Advocate, Mark J. Green, turns 71... Actor Judd Hirsch turns 81... UCLA professor, biochemist and biophysicist, David Eisenberg, turns 77... Chemist and Nobel Prize winner, Martin Karplus, turns 86... Physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Zhores Alferov, turns 86... Retired MLB infielder, Kevin Youkilis, turns 37... Sam Treynor... 

** The Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University presents: "On March 28th, an evening discussion on Where Do We Go From Here? The U.S.-Israel Relationship After Obama, featuring a conversation between Tamara Wittes, Director, Center for Middle East Policy and Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; and Michael Doran, Senior Fellow, The Hudson Institute; and moderated by Jordan Hirsch, Visiting Fellow, The Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies." [IIJS]
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