Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: June 22, 2018

Remembering Dr. Charles Krauthammer | Will Trump's peace plan be 'Gaza first'? | How Rep. Seth Moulton won Mike Bloomberg over

JI Staff
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Charles Krauthammer, one of the leading conservative political commentators in the U.S. media, appears on Fox News in this image from video, 2018.
Charles Krauthammer, one of the leading conservative political commentators in the U.S. media, appears on Fox News in this image from video, 2018.Credit: HANDOUT/ REUTERS
JI Staff

Have our people email your people. Tell your friends to sign up for the Daily Kickoff here

REMEMBERING -- Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and intellectual provocateur, dies at 68 -- by Adam Bernstein: "Charles Krauthammer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist and intellectual provocateur who championed the muscular foreign policy of neoconservatism... died June 21 at 68... Known for acerbic, unsparing prose and hawkishness on U.S. and Israeli security matters, Dr. Krauthammer long directed his moral indignation at the “liberal monopoly” on the news cycle... On Israeli-Palestinian relations, he acknowledged the suffering on both sides but firmly defended the Jewish state in what he saw as its existential battle for survival."

"Dr. Krauthammer said his politics were shaped by growing up in the post-Holocaust years with Jewish parents who had escaped the Nazis in Europe. He grew up attuned to the “tragic element in history,” he once told a C-SPAN interviewer. “It tempers your optimism and your idealism... You don’t expect that much out of human nature. And you are prepared for the worst.” [WashPost]

"Mr. Krauthammer was born on March 13, 1950, in Manhattan to Orthodox Jewish immigrants. His father, Shulim, a lawyer who spoke nine languages, came to New York from Ukraine through France and Cuba, where he met Thea Horowitz, who would become his wife. She had left Belgium the day the Germans invaded, May 10, 1940, and later translated American military manuals for the Free French army." [NYT]

Things that matter, in the words of Charles Krauthammer -- “Everyone’s Jewish,” Sept. 25, 2006 -- "Apart from its political irrelevance, it seems improbable in the extreme that the cowboy-boots-wearing football scion of Southern manner and speech [former Virginia governor George Allen] should turn out to be, at least by origins, a son of Israel. For Allen, as he quipped to me, it’s the explanation for a lifelong affinity for Hebrew National hot dogs. For me, it is the ultimate confirmation of something I have been regaling friends with for 20 years and now, for the advancement of social science, feel compelled to publish."

“Do we really mean ‘never again’?” Jan. 30, 2015 -- "On the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz, mourning dead Jews is easy. And, forgive me, cheap. Want to truly honor the dead? Show solidarity with the living — Israel and its 6 million Jews." [WashPost]

George Will writes... "Charles Krauthammer’s death leaves a huge void: Dictating columns when not driving himself around Washington in a specially designed van that he operated while seated in his motorized wheelchair, crisscrossing the country to deliver speeches to enthralled audiences, Charles drew on reserves of energy and willpower to overcome a multitude of daily challenges, any one of which would cause most people to curl up in a fetal position... Some people are such a large presence while living that they still occupy space even when they are gone." [NYPost]

UPDATE -- Morton Klein emails us this morning... "ZOA learned from a FARA filing (Foreign Agents Registration Act) report this week that a donation from a wealthy businessman to buy two tables at the ZOA Gala Dinner last year may very well be linked to Qatar funds he received. Even though this gift was perfectly legal, and since ZOA would never knowingly accept funds from Qatar, ZOA has returned the entire $100,000 to the donor. It should be understood that ZOA received the money purely as a donation to support our pro-Israel work on campuses, on Capitol Hill, in the courts, in the media and in Israel. There was never a hint of a quid pro quo or conditions placed with this donation. Neither ZOA or Morton Klein ever praised or lobbied for Qatar and, in fact, have strongly and publicly criticized Qatar’s actions and policies."

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jared Kushner and Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt in Jerusalem this morning on the final leg of their Middle East tour.

White House readout: "Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt returned to Israel and met today with Ambassador David Friedman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They discussed the means by which the humanitarian situation in Gaza can be alleviated, while maintaining Israel’s security. They further discussed the continued commitment of the Trump Administration and Israel to advance peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians."

The Prime Minister’s Office in a statement: “Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his gratitude for President Trump's support for Israel. The teams discussed advancing the diplomatic process, developments in the region and the security and humanitarian situations in Gaza.”

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman called it a "great meeting" and shared a photo of the group of five in Jerusalem. [Pic]

Trump's Palestinian aid-for-peace moves face tough challenges -- by David Wainer and Margaret Talev: "The Trump administration's Middle East negotiators... will be discussing ways to avert a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and create jobs in the West Bank while in the region this week, said two Israeli officials... The U.S. believes a stronger Palestinian economy could bolster peace prospects, a White House official said... "I have no doubt the administration would like to be able to show that it's affecting matters on the ground, because that would create a more favorable context" for presenting the peace plan, said Dennis Ross, a former U.S. diplomat who was involved in efforts to resolve the conflict. Still, "that doesn't mean that you get the Palestinians immediately back to the negotiating table," he said." [Bloomberg]

-- "Jordanian King Abdullah II said Thursday that there will not be peace in the Middle East without establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital." [Reuters]

Jordan king heads to US for Trump meeting: "Jordan’s King Abdullah II set off for the United States on Thursday for talks with US President Donald Trump on Middle East issues including the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the palace said. Accompanied by his wife Rania, the monarch is also scheduled to meet with senior officials from the Trump administration and members of Congress... His meeting with Trump is expected to take place at the White House on Monday." [YahooNews]

Aaron David Miller, a Middle East analyst at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, tells us... "I think this is the 'check the box' trip. If Trump wants to present a peace plan then they have to go through the motions and the reality of coming up with a plan. But the U.S. cannot assume that it can shower Israel with honey so that it would be impossible for Netanyahu to say no. You can't buy Bibi no matter what you give him. If you are going to ask him to do hard things then you are going to end up having to fight him, and I don't think they want to fight him."

"There will be things in this plan Bibi won't like, but in my judgment, it will allow Bibi to say to the President that after several considerations, 'I have reservations, but I give you a yes, but.' But I don't think they will have enough for the Arabs to make sure that MBS stands up and endorses the plan full stop. The Palestinians will almost certainly say no."

"With some course correction, if they wanted to, the administration could create a credible basis for negotiations. I just don't think that given where the President stands on Israel, given the headaches that will arise with Evangelicals if they touch the Jerusalem issue in a way that would satisfy the Palestinians, I think you are going to end up with a fight. And since Trump has come to a conclusion that the real glory is North Korea, it would be worth fighting with the Israelis under only one set of circumstances, and that is if Trump could actually get a deal. But there are so many things wrong with this approach, and there are so many moving parts that I can't believe that Greenblatt, Kushner and Trump believe that this could create a basis for negotiations."

Tamara Cofman Wittes tweets: "Israelis I’ve spoken to seem to think there might be a real peace plan or at least some language hard for Bibi to accept, for example on Palestinian statehood. I’m not so sure. I imagine that what Greenblatt/Kushner are hearing from leaders in Israel and the Gulf is mostly about Gaza... Gaza is what creates political and PR problems for Gulf leaders, not the fate of the West Bank... Gaza is the subject of the only serious international meeting Greenblatt has convened in DC so far. And I bet he thinks Gaza can be the platform for a new US new peace initiative..."

"My prediction: if/when The plan is finally released, it will be “Gaza first.” It will mobilize international including Gulf aid to improve Gaza Palestinians’ lives with projects while seeking to undermine/displace Hamas rule there... It will seek to use success in Gaza to raise hopes and lay groundwork for the resumption of negotiations on final status. It might suggest others join those negotiations in place of previous bilats. But it might not specify when negotiations might resume, on what basis, or to what end."

ROYAL VISIT -- British milestones in Holy Land set traditional foundation for royal visit -- by Maayan Lubell: “Prince William will become on Monday the first British royal to pay an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, 70 years after British forces withdrew from the Holy Land leaving behind the divisions that remain to this day... He will stay in Jerusalem at the King David hotel, once the headquarters of British authorities William will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He will also visit religious sites, Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust dead, and the tomb of his great-grandmother Princess Alice.” [Reuters]

UK defends calling Jerusalem Old City part of ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ -- by Raphael Ahren: "The British ambassador to Israel on Thursday defended describing Jerusalem’s Old City as being part of the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” in the itinerary for Prince William’s upcoming visit to Israel and the West Bank. “All the terminology that was used in the program was consistent with years of practice by British governments. It’s consistent with British government policy,” David Quarrey said... “It’s the first official visit by a senior member of the royal family. I think it’s going to be a great success,” the ambassador said." [ToI]

ON THE GROUND -- Iran, Hezbollah Pull Back From Israeli Border At Russia's Request, Syrian Watchdog Group Says -- by Jason Lemon: "Iran, Hezbollah and other Tehran-backed militias in Syria have begun withdrawing from the disputed Golan Heights border with Israel, a watchdog group announced Thursday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the militants were headed 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from the border, in response to Russian demands following previously reported negotiations between Moscow and Israel." [Newsweek]

Amos Harel writes... "In recent weeks, it seems the Pompeo document is beginning to take effect. It is not just the apparent avalanche of American companies, and to a lesser extent European firms, that are abandoning planned deals with Tehran. The Iranians are beginning to feel the pressure in other places too, along the entire Shi’ite Crescent – the front on which they leveraged their influence in recent years, from Lebanon and Syria in the north to Bahrain in the east and Yemen in the south." [Haaretz]

HEARD YESTERDAY ON NPR'S FRESH AIR -- Emily Jane Fox, author of the new book Born Trump, on reports that Ivanka Trump helped convince her father to sign an executive order to end the separation of families at the U.S. border: "Knowing what I know, having reported on Ivanka Trump for Vanity Fair for almost three years now ... it's hard to make that justification that she would be the person who has that much influence, only because we have seen time and time again stories leaked to the press about [how] Ivanka expressed her concern over the travel ban, Ivanka expressed her concern behind the scenes over the Paris Climate Accord. And in those instances, her private advocacy made no difference... I think it would be significantly overstating her influence to say that the president changed his mind on Wednesday because of what Ivanka Trump showed him on Tuesday." [NPR]

The West Wing Is Fracturing Over Trump’s Callous Migrant-Family Policy -- by Gabriel Sherman: "There are echoes of Charlottesville, with the president digging himself deeper, even as the midterms loom. “This is brutal,” said one Republican close to the president. “Trump is riding high in the polls, and it’s playing into his mental state that he’s invincible.” ... “Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border,” an outside White House adviser said. “He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on. There’s always been a way he’s gone about this. He’s Waffen-SS.”" [VanityFair]

White House aide Miller targeted in backlash over family separations -- by Nancy Cook: "Among White House insiders, there is a sense that the president’s senior adviser for policy is a bad front man for the issue he’s most passionate about. Miller stayed entirely out of the spotlight during days of mounting political pressure... “He led the president down a path that again ended in disaster,” said one Republican congressional staffer. “The Muslim ban and the immigration executive order are things that have activated both sides of the aisle and caused widespread pushback and disgust. I just think the president should think twice before following in his lead in the future on these issues.” [Politico]

2018 WATCH -- Moulton urges Bloomberg to back vets’ races -- by Liz Goodwin: "Eight years ago, a young Marine Corps veteran approached Mayor Michael Bloomberg while Bloomberg was eating a hamburger with his then-girlfriend at J.G. Melon on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The Marine interrupted Bloomberg’s meal to tell him that he had strong feelings on the mayor’s controversial support for a group that wanted to build a mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks. Bloomberg braced himself. “This is going to ruin my hamburger,” he thought. “I really appreciate your stance on the mosque because I think you’re upholding the values that I fought for overseas,” the veteran told Bloomberg, shocking the mayor."

"Years later, the mogul is now helping that veteran, Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, in Moulton’s political time of need. Bloomberg announced this week he’s spending $80 million this cycle to boost Democratic candidates, which, according to longtime aide Howard Wolfson, will include at least some of the military veterans Moulton has helped assemble to run for House seats." [BostonGlobe]

** Good Friday 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: Does Apollo Need Investors? Leon Black mastered the art of raising capital. His successors don’t want to [InstitutionalInvestor] Shari Redstone’s Path to Power [WSJ] Trumps and Kushners Cut Ties on Hotel Deals That Raised Eyebrows [NYTimes] Israeli named as new CEO of Virgin Atlantic [ToI] Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess visits Israel, meets with Netanyahu and the CEOs of Gett and Mobileye [Globes] Jonathan Litt wants Hudson’s Bay to tap into its real estate potential [TheRealDeal] Showfields signs lease to take over NoHo retail building [NYPost]

SPOTLIGHT: Two Titans’ Rocky Relationship Stands Between Comcast and Fox -- by Shalini Ramachandran and Keach Hagey: "Throughout this drama, Comcast appears to have been on the outside looking in. One big reason is [Brian] Roberts’s strained relationships with the other executives at the table: 21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Mr. Murdoch, who is selling prime pieces of the empire he created over six decades, and Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger. “Rupert loves Bob Iger, though their politics are completely different,” a person close to him said. “He doesn’t want Brian Roberts.” [WSJ]

PODCAST PLAYBACK -- Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker discussed the Trump Administration's recent action to enforce its immigration policy on the Recode Decode podcast with Kara Swisher: "I don’t get the [administration's immigration] policy. I really don’t understand it. First of all, we’re a country of immigrants. I’m the great-granddaughter of an immigrant. I went back to Ukraine, which is where my family came from. I went to the 75th anniversary of Babi Yar, where the 32,000 Jews were killed. Frankly, I wouldn’t be alive today if my great-grandfather had not immigrated. We have benefited from immigration. We’ve benefited not just economically but as the mosaic that is our country has benefited from all kinds of thinking." [Recode]

Charlottesville rally organizer requests permit for 'white civil rights rally' in Washington -- by Sophie Tatum: "The organizer of last year's deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is looking to hold a "white civil rights rally" in front of the White House in August. National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst confirmed Thursday an application for the event from Jason Kessler has been received. The event has been approved but the permit has not yet been issued, as the National Park Service is gathering information from the organizers about the event's details... The dates requested by Kessler, August 11-12, mark the one-year anniversary of the events in Charlottesville." [CNN]

Jerusalem backlash casts shadow over Eurovision contest -- by Tia Goldenberg: “When the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israelis hoped other countries would follow suit. Instead, the move has created a backlash. The latest setback threatens the contested city’s hopes of hosting the 2019 Eurovision song contest — an affair that has become something of a national obsession... Hosting the competition in Jerusalem could present a predicament for the public broadcasters that make up the European Broadcasting Union, sparking criticism that they are taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The EBU took the unusual step of announcing this week that it will choose the host city after a bid process. Israel is expected to present four cities as potential hosts, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.” [AP]

Anti-Israeli Former MP George Galloway Spotted Dining at an... Israeli Cafe -- by Eylon Aslan-Levy: "Anti-Israel politician George Galloway was spotted having lunch at an Israeli cafe in London’s Camden Market on Thursday afternoon. Galloway, a former British MP, is known as one of the vociferous voices against Israel in Britain. He is a firm supporter of a boycott against Israel, who once declared Bradford—the northern English city where he was the local MP—as an “Israeli free zone”... Yet, all these staunchly anti-Israeli opinions did not stop Galloway from walking into an Israeli-owned cafe and enjoying a quintessentially Israeli breakfast: A shakshuka, which he picked from a menu that included such Israeli delights as challah bread, borekas, and Jerusalem salad." [Tablet]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS -- FRIDAY: A leading securities, corporate and M&A attorney, he is a founding partner of the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Martin Lipton turns 87... United States Senator from California since 1992, Dianne Feinstein turns 85... Jerusalem-born 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, she is the director of a research center at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Ada Yonath turns 79... UK judge, who chaired high profile hearings on ethics in the media, prompted by the 2011 News of the World phone hacking affair, Sir Brian Henry Leveson turns 75... Winner of the the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics, professor at Brown University, J. Michael Kosterlitz turns 75... A justice on Israel's Supreme Court (2004-2014), previously she was the Israeli State Prosecutor (1996-2004), Edna Arbel turns 74... Member of the California State Assembly since 2012, Richard Hershel Bloom turns 65... Immediate past President of the UJA - Federation of New York, Alisa Robbins Doctoroff... Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David Jonathon Shulkin turns 59... Democratic member of Congress since 2001, he is the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff turns 58... Creator of the Android operating system which he sold to Google, Andrew E. "Andy" Rubin turns 56... Member of the Knesset for the Likud party since 2009, he is currently serving as Minister of Tourism, Yariv Gideon Levin turns 49... VP of Jewish and Israel Initiatives at the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, Rafi M. Rone turns 47... Second baseman for MLB's Los Angeles Angels since 2018, Ian Kinsler turns 36... Russian-Israeli Internet entrepreneur, Lev Binzumovich Leviev turns 34... Baltimore-based endodontist, Jeffrey H. Gardyn, DDS turns 32... Israeli-born NBA player since 2009, Omri Casspi turns 30... Outfielder in the Washington Nationals organization, started all three games for Team Israel in the 2016 World Baseball Classic qualifier round, Rhett Wiseman turns 24...

SATURDAY: Professor of medicine and health care policy at Harvard, Samuel O. Thier, M.D. turns 81... Real estate developer and co-founder of Tishman Speyer, Jerry Speyer turns 78... Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, for 40 years, the grandson of a synagogue cantor, James Levine turns 75... Senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in DC, Robert D. Kaplan turns 66... Writer who has been published by the New York Times and the Mobile Press-Register, Roy Hoffman turns 65... Los Angeles-based activist, restaurateur and fundraiser, a 2008 Lifetime Television movie starring Renée Zellweger portrayed her cancer fighting efforts, Lilly Tartikoff Karatz turns 65... Klezmer expert, violinist, composer Yale Strom turns 61... President and CEO of Amplify Public Affairs, Robin Strongin turns 59... Award-winning actress and producer, Kyra Sedgwick turns 53... Member of the front office of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles since 2000, General Manager (2010-2014) and then EVP of football operations of the Eagles, Howie Roseman turns 43... Founder of Innovation Africa to bring more reliable electricity to developing communities throughout Africa, Sivan Borowich-Ya'ari turns 40... Actress and comedienne, best known for playing Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on Seasons 4 and 5 of CBS's sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," Melissa Rauch turns 38... Actress, singer and model, Marielle Jaffe turns 29... Ethiopian-born Israeli model who won the title of Miss Israel in 2013, Yityish Aynaw turns 27... Josh Lauder turns 23... Communications Assistant at West End Strategy Team, Jessica Johnson...

SUNDAY: Former chief rabbi of Denmark (1969-1996), Rabbi Bent Melchior turns 89... Businessman and philanthropist, Sir Donald Gordon turns 88... Member of Congress (D-NJ-8) from 1993-1995, Herb Klein turns 88... Activist investor, a co-founder of Trian Fund Management, Nelson Peltz turns 76... Former Chairman and CEO of New York Life Insurance Company, Seymour "Sy" Sternberg turns 75... Professor of Jewish theology at the American Jewish University and chairman of the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff turns 75... Founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Rabbi Avraham Haim Yosef (Avi) Weiss turns 74... Former Secretary of Labor (1993-97), author and professor at UC Berkeley, Robert Reich turns 72... Former Chief of Staff of the IDF and then Israeli Defense Minister, Lt. General (reserve) Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon turns 68... Member of the Canadian House of Commons from Hamilton, Ontario since 2006, he is a former CEO of Promise Keepers Canada, David Sweet turns 61... Principal of Mount Scopus Memorial College, a co-educational Jewish day school with over 1,500 students from K to 12, located in Melbourne, Australia, Rabbi James Kennard turns 54... The first on-air talent of the NFL Network, Rich Eisen turns 49... Israeli businesswoman and owner of the soccer team, Hapoel Beer Sheva, her brother-in-law is the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, Alona Barkat turns 49... Author and columnist, Shulem Deen turns 44... Singer and songwriter Ariel Pink, born Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, turns 40... Editor-in-chief of The Washington Free Beacon, Matthew Continetti turns 37... VP of Houston-based RIDA Development, Steven C. Mitzner turns 32... A 2015 contestant on Jeopardy! winning 13 consecutive episodes, Matthew Barnett "Matt" Jackson turns 26... Chief Creative Officer at WildBrow MediaWorks, Peter Grossman... Sam Gill... Lois Charles... Ruth Weinstein... Mo Gruber...



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott