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TOP TALKER: "Sanders wins greater say in Democratic platform; names pro-Palestinian activist" by Anne Gearan: "Sen. Bernie Sanders was given unprecedented say over the Democratic Party platform Monday in a move party leaders hope will soothe a bitter split with backers of the longshot challenger to Hillary Clinton — and Sanders immediately used his new power to name a well-known advocate for Palestinian rights to help draft Democratic policy. Sanders’s slate includes James Zogby, a longtime activist for Palestinian rights as well as a DNC member and official. Sanders’s approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues is in line with most Democrats’ views, Zogby said in an interview. “You need to find a way to meet the needs of both. To say we will satisfy one without the other is a recipe for failure” as peacemakers, Zogby said." [WashPost]
"A compromise deal aimed at taking the Democratic primary down a notch in Philadelphia could make the Israel split big news" by Evan McMorris-Santoro and Ruby Cramer: "Sanders allies privately say that Israel is not a fight the senator himself wants to pick. More likely, perhaps, is the possibility that Zogby or West raise the issue. West, one of Sanders’ signature surrogates, has historically been critical of the senator only around a handful of issues — Israel being one. What Sanders forces do hope to accomplish in Philadelphia and beyond remains an open question among supporters, campaign aides, and former staffers — but Sanders’ singular focus on economic issues and campaign finance would likely make a high-profile fight on Israel a distraction." [BuzzFeed]
Person to Watch -- "Elijah Cummings Will Chair DNC Platform Committee" by Eli Yokley:"Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings – a Democrat who endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in April – will serve as chairman of the party’s platform drafting committee, the DNC announced on Monday."[MorningConsult]
“Trump: Overseas trips don't register with voters” by Nick Gass: "Traveling to other countries this summer ahead of the general election would not appear to be one of Donald Trump's top priorities, if his comments to The Wall Street Journal published Monday are any indication. “I don’t think it registers with the voters to be honest with you. What I really want to do is focus on our country and the election, but I might,” Trump remarked, in an interview with the Journal on Sunday. “I’ve been invited by numerous countries to go.” The Guardian reported on Friday that Trump’s deep-pocketed donors are laying the groundwork for a trip to Israel this summer.” [WSJ; Politico; JI]
“Trump leaving neocons in dust” by Kristina Wong: "[Neoconservatives] are concerned for good reason," said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Democratic defense hawk. "These people don't think that Trump is prepared intellectually to be president. It's not just that their stance of foreign policy would be losing... all foreign policy schools would be losing influence under Trump with very unpredictable consequences," he added." [TheHill]
NEW JI FEATURE -- As you know, we try to keep the focus of the Daily Kickoff on U.S. politics and business news. While we certainly cover the U.S. - Israel relationship, we rarely include news regarding domestic Israeli affairs. What is 'driving the conversation' among Israeli leaders in the cafes of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem or in the Knesset cafeteria is often quite different from the conversations American leaders are having in D.C. and NYC. We've teamed up with veteran Israeli journalists Amir Tibon and Tal Shalev, the pair behind the epic HuffPost Highline story on Barack & Bibi's Marriage, to provide a daily glimpse into those conversations among Israeli insiders for us.
KAFE KNESSET -- by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: "The first day of the Knesset's summer session is always hectic, but yesterday, new records were set, as the entire parliament was swept with confusing and conflicting rumors about the state of Netanyahu's coalition negotiations with Avigdor Lieberman. As of early this morning, an agreement has yet to be signed. While the Finance Ministry was negotiating with Lieberman over his demand to increase the pensions of elderly citizens who immigrated from the former Soviet Union, Netanyahu was facing anger inside the Likud's faction meeting, held for the first time in months. Most party officials were kept in the dark about the coalition talks, and now was their chance to complain about it. "Do you think we are all stupid? That only you got brains?" Welfare Minister Haim Katz lashed at the Prime Minister."
"The rage within Likud spells trouble ahead for Netanyahu. Coupled with a last-minute rebellion by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the "Jewish Home" party, who is demanding a reform in the structure of Israel's Security Cabinet as a condition for voting in favor of Lieberman's appointment, it becomes clear that even after Netanyahu enlarges his coalition from 61 members of Knesset to 66, stability will be far from promised."
"And if that's not bad enough, today at 5PM local time (10AM EDT), Israel's state comptroller is set to release a new report about the affair known as "Bibi Tours," dealing with suspicions that Netanyahu and his family's flights to different destinations across the globe, during his tenure as Finance Minister last decade, received "problematic" funding from donors and institutions. The police, according to news reports, are already looking into new materials arising from the report, and soon the public will see them too. All in all, not the best way for Netanyahu to start the new Knesset session."
Bret Stephens: "Netanyahu Against the Generals: A case pits Israel’s faith in democracy against the views of its military brass." [WSJ]
NYTimes Editorial Board: "A Baffling, Hard-line Choice in Israel" [NYTimes]
AQUARIUM TRANSITION: "Netanyahu announced on Monday the appointment of a new cabinet secretary, several months after Avichai Mandelblit vacated the post to become attorney general in January. David Sharan, Netanyahu’s chief of staff, will take on the influential role coordinating the work of the 20-member cabinet, including the smaller security cabinet, which votes on war and peace. Sharan will be replaced as the PM’s chief of staff by Yoav Horovitz, the CEO of the Israeli franchise of car rental firm Avis." [ToI]
**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 email@example.com**
BUSINESS BRIEFS: "Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman, worth $13b., says he want his children to make their own way, will give fortune to charity instead" [ToI] "Developers LIVWRK, Kushner, RFR in Brooklyn’s Dumbo Plan Public Space" [WSJ] "Gawker Founder Nick Denton Suspects a Common Financer Behind Lawsuits" [DealBook] "Israeli startup Nucleix raises $3 million in a round led by Morris Kahn" [FMD]
STARTUP NATION: "Glide, the $100 million video-messaging startup, laid off 25% of its staff as it looks to focus on smartwatches" by Lara O'Reilly: "Glide, the Jerusalem-based video-messaging startup once reportedly valued at $100 million, recently laid off 25% of its staff as it looks to focus on smartwatches. Roles eliminated were those that did not directly support its new focus, Roisman said. The company now has 55 staff worldwide." [BusinessInsider]
PROFILE: "The Ex-Air Force Sergeant Running Facebook in Israel" by Ashlee Vance: "Adi Soffer-Teeni's family helped found Tel Aviv about 100 years ago. Today, Soffer-Teeni carries on their legacy as one of the leading tech founders in Israel. Over the past 16 years, she has started and run a handful of companies in the education, online gaming, and consumer software markets. Now she runs Facebook’s Israel operations and is considered one of the country’s top executives." [Businessweek]
SCENE at ICSC in Las Vegas: "Many of the industry’s biggest players were at the Wynn European pool, including Jeff Sutton of Wharton Properties, Paul Massey of Cushman & Wakefield, Isaac and Haim Chera of Crown Acquisitions, Sam Chang of McSam Group, and Ralph Herzka of Meridian Capital Group. The cabanas were rammed with dealmakers sipping margaritas and talking shop, and the vibe was far more rambunctious than Saturday’s relaxed affair." [RealDeal]
MOT RISING STAR: "She Wants To Be The Youngest Woman EVER In Congress" by Torey Van Oot: "As it stands today, just 84 out of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are women. Zero are under age 30. Erin Schrode wants to change that. Schrode, an activist and speaker who has spearheaded her own nonprofits related to environmental issues and educational resources, faces a tough road to Washington." [Refinery29; BusinessInsider]
MEDIA WATCH: "Rachel Fishman Feddersen Named the Forward’s New Publisher: Feddersen will join the publication in June as it continues its transformation into a nimble, digital-first source for Jewish news. Samuel Norich will remain president and CEO and will continue to cultivate relationships with the Forward’s supporters and stakeholders." [Forward]
SPORTS BLINK: "Kraft Discusses Love for Israel, YU Honorary Doctorate" by Jacob Kornbluh: "Kraft will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary doctorate at the Yeshiva University’s 85th commencement ceremony on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York. “I am doing this, in large part, out of ‘derech eretz’ (respect) for my [late] father, Harry, who I think would’ve viewed me being the recipient of this wonderful ‘kavod’ (honor) that it would’ve been greater to him than winning a Super Bowl,” Kraft remarked." [JI; Audio]
VIRAL: "Holocaust survivor sings national anthem at Detroit Tigers game" [JewishJournal]
BIRTHDAYS: Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman and whose Hebrew name was Shabsi Zissel, one of the most influential singer-songwriters of his generation, turns 75... Constitutional historian, lecturer and writer, Richard B. Bernstein turns 60... Actor, who starred in the HBO original series "How to Make It in America," Bryan Greenberg turns 38... Debby Goldberg of Schwarzman Scholars, previously at ProPublica and the Center for American Progress... Deputy Chief Of Staff at the Department of the Interior, Ben Milakofsky... Professor at Brooklyn College and painter whose realist art works appear in many museums, Philip Pearlstein turns 92... Film director and daughter-in-law of Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, Joan Micklin Silver turns 81...
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