Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: May 30, 2018

Trump says 'every leader in the world' asked him not to move embassy | Bronfman speaks out against Netanyahu

JI Staff
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a rally at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, May 29, 2018.
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a rally at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, May 29, 2018.Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP
JI Staff

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FIRST LOOK -- "Charles Bronfman: The Face of Birthright Israel Is Speaking Out Against the Prime Minister" by Lisa Miller: "Bronfman shrugged existentially, an open-palmed gesture that evoked generations. “They’re all bad guys,” he said, meaning Hamas, Netanyahu, Trump, Javanka—the lot. “Why did the Israelis use live fire? Why didn’t they use water cannons and why didn’t they use tear gas and why didn’t they use rubber bullets? I can’t answer any of this stuff. Nobody’s an innocent lamb in this thing. It is such a terrifying situation all around.”

"Establishment patriarchs used to not talk like this to reporters. Among American Jews, the ground rules were clear: Like members of a contentious family, the leaders of Jewish organizations may have had their disputes with Israel, but, also like family, they were expected to air those grievances in private. This “family” tradition can create odd partnerships and theatrical tensions. About two weeks before his HUC speech, Bronfman honored the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, at the Birthright gala... “We’re not friends,” Bronfman says bluntly. “We’re not enemies, but we’re not friends. It’s a difficult situation. He and I are on opposite spectrums. I’m not that far left, but he’s very far right. We have nothing in common. Period.” [NYMag]

COMING SOON -- The Israel Policy Forum announced the inaugural Charles Bronfman IPF Atid Conveners Summit taking place October 20-23 in New York City and Washington, DC with the goal of shaping the communal discourse in support of a viable two-state solution.

HEARD YESTERDAY -- President Trump at a campaign rally in Nashville, TN: “Every president said we are going to open the embassy in Jerusalem. We’re going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital... They never did it. And now I know why. Because two weeks out, when people sort of started to think that we’re going to open up the embassy, I was called by every leader in the world, 'Don’t do it. Don’t do it. We don’t want it. Don’t do it.' And I understood. The pressure not to open it was tremendous. And we did it. And we did the right thing." [Video]

DRIVING THE DAY -- "Hamas Declares Cease-Fire With Israel After a Day of Fighting" by Isabel Kershner: "Hamas unilaterally declared a cease-fire with Israel on Wednesday, ushering in a fragile calm along the Gaza border after a short but intense round of fighting and easing the prospect of an imminently broader conflict. In response, Israeli officials signaled that the government was willing to end this round, saying it would act only in response to fire from Gaza... Both sides appeared to have calibrated their actions to avoid an all-out conflict: The militants did not fire longer-range rockets at major Israeli population centers, and Israel appeared to have bombed unmanned facilities. With both sides seeing little to gain from a fourth war in a decade... each called it a day and declared victory, saying it had managed to deter the other." [NYTimes; WashPost]

TODAY IN TURTLE BAY -- "U.S. calls for emergency U.N. Security Council meeting on mortar fire into Israel" by Cristiano Lima: "The U.S. on Tuesday called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss recent mortar attacks fired from Gaza into Israel... “The Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians, and the Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for what they’re allowing to happen in Gaza,” [Nikki] Haley said in a statement." [Politico]

"Hamas struggles to co-opt Palestinian uprising against Israel" by Sam Kiley: "Hamas remains dedicated to the Jewish state's demise but is now struggling to co-opt, or harness, a popular and largely non-violent uprising originally organized by ordinary citizens... In an interview with CNN, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar admitted that there was a propaganda advantage to the deaths and injuries that came with the demonstrations... "We are very sorry about our victims... But I think it is good for people [who] believe Israel is a peaceful system and only the aggressive side is from Hamas and the armed struggle," said al-Zahar." [CNN]

HAPPENING TODAY -- "With Jared Back on Top, Kim Kardashian Heads to the White House" by Emily Jane Fox: "After months of back-channel talks between Kim Kardashian and Jared Kushner, the high priestess of reality television is coming to the White House. Before four o’clock on Wednesday afternoon, Secret Service agents will wave Kardashian and her attorney through the southwest appointment gate to the West Wing, where they will meet Kushner to discuss prison reform before he walks with them to sit down with President Donald Trump, likely in the Oval Office... Kardashian plans to ask Trump to pardon a woman serving a life sentence without parole for a first-time drug offense... Kushner and Ivanka... plan to host Kardashian for dinner at their home after her Oval Office sit-down." [VanityFair]

"Ivanka Trump Abruptly Leaves Call After Question About China Trademarks" by Maggie Haberman: "Ivanka Trump abruptly left a conference call on Tuesday about a coming fitness event after receiving questions about her company’s trademarks in China and her father’s exercise regimen... At the outset, a White House official said that Ms. Trump would take a few questions before departing for a meeting." [NYTimes]

INSIDE THE ADMIN -- "Bolton adds two loyalists to the National Security Council" Kaitlan Collins: "Sarah Tinsley and Garrett Marquis have both been hired as senior directors for communications for the National Security Council, [a] source told CNN. Tinsley will be filling a role left vacant by Michael Anton, who stepped down earlier this year after [John] Bolton's predecessor, H.R. McMaster, was fired... Both previously worked for Bolton -- Tinsley for the John Bolton political action committee and Marquis as his spokesman." [CNN]

STATE-SIDE: "Eric Greitens, Missouri Governor and Rising Republican Star, Resigns Amid Scandal" by Mitch Smith and Julie Bosman: "Defiant but somber, Mr. Greitens, who was voted into office in 2016, insisted that he had committed no crimes or “any offense worthy of this treatment.” He described “legal harassment of colleagues, friends and campaign workers” and said “it’s clear that for the forces that oppose us that there is no end in sight.” “This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family,” Mr. Greitens said... For Mr. Greitens, 44, it was a fall as dramatic and sudden as his rise had been." [NYTimes]

TOP TALKER: "Roseanne Barr profusely apologizes after ABC cancels 'Roseanne' over racist tweet" by Chandelis Duster, Claire Atkinson and Alex Johnson: "Roseanne Barr went on an extended apology offensive Tuesday night after ABC canceled her hit sitcom "Roseanne" over a tweet in which Barr referred to a former adviser to President Barack Obama as an "ape." Barr said she had been under the influence of the prescription sleeping pill Ambien on Monday night when she referred to the adviser, Valerie Jarrett, as a "child" of the "Muslim Brotherhood" and "Planet of the Apes." ... The original post was part of a tweet storm by Barr, in which she also apologized to Chelsea Clinton for another tweet in which she described her middle name as "Soros" ... whom Barr called a "Nazi" in another tweet." [NBCNews]

"Disney CEO Bob Iger: It was the 'right thing' to cancel 'Roseanne'" by Jill Disis: "Disney CEO Bob Iger has made his position clear: Canceling the hit ABC series "Roseanne" was the "right thing." The company's top executive tweeted his thoughts Tuesday afternoon shortly after the network announced it would drop the show." [CNNMoney]

"Valerie Jarrett revealed that Disney CEO Bob Iger reached out to her to apologize before ABC, which is owned by Disney, pulled the plug on Roseanne. “I do and I want to mention that Bob Iger, who’s a CEO of Disney called me before the announcement,” Jarrett said. “He apologized. He said that he had zero tolerance for that sort of racist, bigoted comment, and he wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show.” [MediaIte]

Alex Soros writes... "Roseanne Barr's lies about my father George Soros are an insult to all who survived the Holocaust: I am alive because of my grandfather's heroism. And like my grandfather, my father is also a hero. It was his experience in the Holocaust that made him an advocate for marginalized and subjugated people. It is also why he created the Open Society Foundations. It is shameful that, in 2017, over 70 years after the end of the Holocaust, heads of state, celebrities and pundits alike are using anti-Semitic rhetoric and lies to attack my father." [NYDailyNews]

Chelsea Clinton attended the American Songbook gala in New York on Tuesday: "Chelsea Clinton was seen for the first time since since her Twitter spat with Rosanne Barr, who falsely claimed she was married to George Soros' nephew. Clinton, a former NBC correspondent, posed with HBO chairman Richard Plepler, who was the guest of honor at the star-studded event." [DailyMail]

2018 WATCH -- "Democratic Candidate Who Criticized Israel Faces Charges of Anti-Semitism" by Thomas Kaplan and Michael Tackett: "On Monday evening, at the home of a retired rabbi in Charlottesville, Va., the Democratic nominee for the Fifth Congressional District of Virginia, Leslie Cockburn, sat down with about 40 Jewish leaders to try to defuse Virginia Republican charges that she was a “virulent anti-Semite.” At issue was the candidate’s 27-year-old book, “Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship" ...

"The meeting might have been dismissed as a peace offering from a long-shot candidate in a largely rural Virginia district that leans Republican. But on Monday, the incumbent congressman, Representative Tom Garrett, announced he was an alcoholic and would not seek re-election. Suddenly, Ms. Cockburn (pronounced CO-burn), the Democratic candidate, is vying for an open seat — and drawing attention, in part for her strident views on Israel." [NYTimes]

INBOX -- The California Republican Party and the Republican Jewish Coalition reject the candidacy of John Fitzgerald in CA11 over recent anti-Semitic comments: "California Republicans reject anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious bigotry, in the harshest terms possible. We reject John Fitzgerald’s campaign and encourage all voters to do the same," California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte said in a statement. RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks added: "We absolutely and unequivocally condemn John Fitzgerald and his campaign for Congress. His anti-Semitic views have no place in our political system, and especially not in our Republican party."

SCENE YESTERDAY -- House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy headlined a fundraiser for Rep. John Faso (R-NY) and hosted by Roger Hertog and Thomas Tisch in New York.

HEARD YESTERDAY -- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on 2020 -- CNN Newsroom host Poppy Harlow: Is 2020 out of question for you, Howard Schultz? Schultz: "Are we going to go there again?" Harlow: In any way, not just as president, is there any way that serving in the government is still in your mind from 2020? Schultz: "What I would say is that I'm as concerned an American citizen as I ever have been. I want to be as involved as I possibly can as a citizen to help the country. I don't know what that's going to mean in the future." [Video]

Politico's Blake Hounshell tweets: "There is a Starbucks in the Trump hotel in D.C. Could be awkward."

** Good Wednesday 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: Shari Redstone Suggests Willingness to Sell Family Business Amid CBS Legal War [Variety] • Sir Martin Sorrell stages dramatic stock market comeback with Derriston deal [SkyNews] • Beny Alagem’s Beverly Hilton condo project gets another look [RealDeal] • Leon Black Named Chairman of MoMA’s Board of Trustees, Ronnie Heyman President [ArtNews]

"Abramovich is latest Russian oligarch to move to Israel" by Aron Heller: "[Roman] Abramovich is perhaps the most high-profile Russian oligarch to relocate to Israel, but hardly the first. Alex Kogan, a journalist who has covered the Russian oligarch phenomenon in Israel for the local Russian-language press, said that some 30 to 40 tycoons have taken Israeli citizenship or residency, with most staying only part-time or temporarily because of scrutiny over their affairs... Some fled Russia because of financial irregularities or dramatic fallouts with Putin that could put them at risk of incarceration. Others were closer to the government and sought the advantages of an Israeli passport, such as visa-free entry to the European Union. Some were drawn by tax breaks for new immigrants to Israel." [AP]

"Israeli Opposition Leader Herzog Is Leading Candidate for Top Job at Jewish Agency" by Judy Maltz: "Opposition leader Isaac Herzog is the frontrunner to succeed Natan Sharansky as chairman of the Jewish Agency... According to sources close to the selection process, Herzog is considered the favored candidate among the American representatives on the board of governors of the Jewish Agency... Herzog... has recently toned down his criticism of Netanyahu. Critics have suggested his desire to be appointed head of the Jewish Agency, which requires the prime minister’s approval, might be responsible for this new conciliatory approach. Herzog called such claims "a blatant lie," citing criticism he leveled at Netanyahu for his handling of events in Gaza during a speech delivered Tuesday at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem." [Haaretz]

TALK OF THE TOWN -- "De Blasio Hoped To Use Israel Trip For ‘Bulletproofness’ From Tabloids: Emails" by Ben Fractenberg: "New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio... first broached the subject of a visit to the Jewish state as part of a summer 2015 family excursion that included speaking at the Vatican, telling several aides he would “defy any purveyor of conventional wisdom to beat a Vatican - Holy Land trip for bulletproofness!” according to a trove of internal emails released on May 24... The mayor did not end up traveling to Israel until that October." [Forward]

SCENE LAST NIGHT -- Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the featured guest speaker at the 3rd Annual Dr. Mona Riklis Ackerman Lecture Series on the psychology of philanthropy. The conversation, held at NYU's School of Professional Studies, was hosted and moderated by Ari Ackerman. [Pic]

-- Bloomberg told the crowd, "I think the thing that was most impactful on my life growing up was when my sister and I set the dinner table. It had sterling silver -- two sets, one for milchig and [one] for fleishig -- and linen tablecloths, linen napkins. I once asked my mother, 'How come my friend up the street, they had all the silverware out on a sideboard and they used stainless steel?' And my mother said, 'It's a question of who you think is most important - the guest or the family.'"

-- Spotted: Marlins' Bruce Sherman, Cynthia Sherman, Gila Ackerman, Lauren Ackerman, Leo Steinbock, Layla Steinbock, Lauren Bush Lauren, David Lauren, Jason Pomeranc, Matthew Hiltzik, Alex Swieca.

The Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life at Columbia/Barnard Hillel, honored Rabbi Michael Paley and Jim McMenamin at its annual Seixas Gala Dinner. Robert Kraft was the honorary dinner chair and Jonathan Lavine and Tina Price were the Dinner Co-Chairs. Eric Goldstein, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York and Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International spoke at the event. At the end of the evening, Robert Kraft announced that Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine and family contributed $2.5 million to an endowment fund to support the work of Columbia/Barnard Hillel. In appreciation of their gift, the Executive Director position will now be known as the Lavine Family Executive Director. The Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, a Columbia alum and a friend of both the honorees and of Jonathan Lavine's, spoke via video at the dinner. [Pic]

Agudath Israel of America held their 96th annual dinner at the Hilton in Midtown: The evening honored Sol Werdiger, Chairman of Agudath Israel of America's Board of Trustees, and the late Mendy Klein of Cleveland, who passed away earlier this month. Israeli President Reuven "Ruvi" Rivlin and Senator Chuck Schumer sent recorded remarks.

SPOTTED: Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and John Faso (R-NY), NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, State Senators John Flanagan and Marty Golden, Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-NJ), Councilmen Kalman Yeger and Chaim Deutsch, Deputy Consul General Amir Sagie, NY State GOP Chair Ed Cox, Julie Killian, Chele Chiavacci Farley, Keith Wofford, Aron Wieder, Andrew Cohen, David Greenfield, Malcolm Hoenlein, Ruth Lichtenstein, Noach Dear, Chaim David Zweibel, Leon Goldenberg, Chaskel Bennett, George Klein, Jason Koppel, Avi Schick, Simcha Eichenstein, Avi Shafran, A.D. Motzen, Avi Schnall, Sander Gerber, Ezra Friedlander, Hank Sheinkopf, O'Brian Murray, David Lobl, Pinny Ringel, Josh Mehlman, Yeruchem Silber, Michael Fragin, Yosef Rapaport, Shmuel Lefkowitz, Abe Eisner, David Schwartz, Pinny Hikind, Pesach Osina, and Robert Gottheim.

TRANSITION -- David Lobl, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's Jewish liaison, is joining powerhouse lobbying firm Kasirer. [NYDailyNews]

REMEMBERING -- "Alan Novak, real estate developer and venture capitalist, dies at 83" by Adam Bernstein: "Alan R. Novak, a businessman who helped develop the District’s Mandarin Oriental hotel, was a partner in an investment group that purchased the city’s landmark Ritz-Carlton Hotel and was an early proponent of investing in blighted neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, died May 23 at his home in Washington... The son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, he attended Yale and Oxford universities on scholarships, was a Supreme Court clerk, worked on a Lyndon B. Johnson administration communications task force and consulted for the Carter White House during the 1980 presidential campaign." [WashPost]

DESSERT -- "Katz’s Deli Starts Subscription Service for Its Famous Pastrami" by Jason Tesauro: "As part of its 130th anniversary, Katz’s announced on Tuesday that its first-ever subscription service will start in June. And for pastrami super-fans with an event to plan, there will also be “Big Ticket” items, a play on the paper carnival ticket that serves as your check at the deli. “The ticket,” said Dell, “is an integral part of Katz’s when you walk in.” [Bloomberg]

In London: "JW3’s Zest to offer meat and milk on same premises" by Jenni Frazer: "In a first for kosher dining in Britain, the Zest at JW3 enterprise is offering the choice of meat or milk on the same premises — albeit with two separate kitchens. Zest’s restaurant, which formerly offered a milk or parev menu with a Middle East twist, has now re-launched as a meat venue. Its cafe, popular with all-day visitors to the Finchley Road community centre and early-birders who come for evening events, will remain as dairy." [JewishNews]

BIRTHDAYS: Long-time former member of the New York State Assembly from Queens, (1983-2011), Nettie Mayersohn turns 92... Santa Monica-based historian of Sephardic and Crypto-Jewish studies, Dolores Sloan turns 88... Philanthropist and real estate developer, former chair of UJA-NY, Larry Silverstein turns 87... Partner in the NYC law firm of Mintz & Gold, Ira Lee "Ike" Sorkin turns 75... Agent at Creative Artists Agency, an entertainment and sports agency based in Los Angeles, he is a visiting professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, Alan Louis Berger turns 68... Chief Rabbi of France (2009-2013), Gilles Uriel Bernheim turns 66... Encino, California-based business attorney, Andrew W. Hyman turns 65... Author of a novel, a memoir and collections of essays, Daphne Miriam Merkin turns 64... Former member of the US House of Representatives (2001-2017), Steve Israel turns 60...

Science editor for BBC News and author of six books, David Shukman turns 60... Contributing editor at The Atlantic since 2015, Michelle Cottle turns 48... Film, stage and television actress; singer and songwriter, she sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, Idina Menzel turns 47... Member of the Knesset for the Yisrael Beiteinu party since late 2015, Oded Forer turns 41... Director of Marketing and Communications at NYC's Jewish Community Project Downtown, Scott Hertz turns 38... Communication and marketing coordinator for the San Francisco office of AIPAC, Alina T. Katz... Press secretary for Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va), Miryam Esther Lipper turns 27... Associate writer for CNN Digital, Eric Levenson turns 27... Healthcare and pharmaceutical associate at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Ashley Bender...



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