Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: July 27, 2017

Al-Aqsa boycott called off | Jordan's King: Netanyahu exploited embassy shooting for political gain | Al-Jazeera out?

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Muslim worshippers celebrate Israel lifting its security measures outside the Al-Aqsa compound or Temple Mount on July 27th, 2017.
Muslim worshippers celebrate Israel lifting its security measures outside the Al-Aqsa compound or Temple Mount on July 27th, 2017. Credit: Emil Salman

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REPORT: "U.S. seeks to test Iran deal with more inspections" by Josh Lederman and Matt Lee: "The Trump administration is pushing for inspections of suspicious Iranian military sites in a bid to test the strength of the nuclear deal that President Donald Trump desperately wants to cancel, senior U.S. officials said... The inspections requests, which Iran would likely resist, could play heavily into Trump’s much-anticipated decision about whether to stick with the deal he’s long derided. If Iran refuses inspections, Trump would finally have a solid basis to say Iran is breaching the deal... To that end, the administration is seeking to force Iran to let in IAEA inspectors to military sites where the U.S. intelligence community believes the Islamic Republic may be cheating on the deal, several officials said." [AP

"Al Aqsa Mosque Boycott Is Called Off After Israel Removes Security Measures" by Isabel Kershner: "Muslim leaders announced on Thursday that the faithful could resume praying at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after Israel... had the last traces of security infrastructure near the entrances to the holy site removed before dawn... Amjad Idris, 21, a municipal worker from East Jerusalem, said that the crisis should end and that the Palestinians had won. “All is good,” he said. “What the Israelis put up yesterday has gone today.”" [NYTimes

Avi Issacharoff tweets: "Temple Mount issues won't be over soon. All the ghosts are out" [Twitter]

"Jordan's King: Netanyahu Exploited Israeli Embassy Shooting for Political Gain" by Barak Ravid: "Jordan's King Abdullah II said on Thursday that the way Israel deals with its security guard who shot two Jordanian citizens outside the Israeli embassy in Jordan last week would directly affect relations between the two countries. The king, speaking after returning from a vacation in the U.S., strongly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he exploited the crisis at the Amman embassy to amass personal political capital." [Haaretz]

KAFE KNESSET -- Lapid attacks Dermer -- by Tal Shalev and JPost's Lahav Harkov: Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid joined the chorus of critics of Netanyahu’s decision-making process and stated that "this was a clear case of politics defeating policy.” Meeting with Israeli diplomatic correspondents this morning, Lapid gave an extensive briefing on all of the burning matters of the hour, focusing on Bibi’s handling of foreign policy, including the relationship with the US. "We are losing the Democratic Party and losing bipartisanship, and more and more Democrats are treating us like a branch of the GOP,” Lapid said, directing specific criticism towards Israel's Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer. "It begins with the PM, but Dermer does everything he says and is also involved in designing the policy. It’s inappropriate that the Israeli Ambassador to the US takes part in Republican gatherings, without even trying to pretend he cares about bipartisanship,” Lapid said. "Dermer has caused us a lot of damage. He was a persona non grata in Obama's White House, and is unacceptable to the liberal parts of the Democratic Party.”

Al-Jazeera out? Lapid may be using Dermer as a scapegoat, but Netanyahu needed someone else to blame for his woes, so he went for the usual suspect, the media. Netanyahu criticized Al-Jazeera, specifically, for their videos twisting the facts of the situation on the Temple Mount. Al-Jazeera blamed Israel, forgetting that this wave of violence began when Muslim worshippers smuggled weapons onto the site and killed two Israeli policemen. Netanyahu wrote that “Al-Jazeera doesn’t stop provoking violence around the Temple Mount. I asked law enforcement several times to close Al-Jazeera’s office in Jerusalem. If this does not happen because of legal interpretations, I will act to pass the necessary laws to remove Al-Jazeera from Israel.” Looks like the Saudis and UAE aren’t the only ones who want to shut the Qatari outlet down. Read today's entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

-- "Saudi Arabia said King Salman had been in contact with the United States and other world powers to try to defuse the tensions and had "stressed the need for the return of calm."" [Reuters

“Jordan walks a tightrope in Jerusalem” by Daniel Shapiro: "To help manage these crises, which inevitably recur, the Trump administration will need to know not only how to cut elegant deals, like this week's, but also to keep the pressure on allies such as Jordan to do all within their power to prevent and dampen the next round.” [CNN

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: The White House pushed back against criticism that the Trump administration -- namely the President and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson -- were slow to respond to the now almost two-week-long Temple Mount crisis. “Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador Friedman were fully engaged starting in the middle of last week and have continued to be engaged throughout,” a White House official tells us. “Some combination of them have spoken to Abbas, Bibi, King Abdullah and other high level officials in the region. Jason went to Jerusalem and then Amman and back to Jerusalem where he still is. There is a focus on trying to resolve the situation. Jason met with Saeb [Erekat] yesterday. Everyone is deeply involved and having conversations. President Trump has been kept up to speed and has been giving directions to the team as well. He is also involved as well as the NSC and General McMaster. It has definitely been a coordinated process.”

--The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes reports: "Derek Harvey, top Trump adviser on Middle East, is out at NSC, effective today. May take a position elsewhere in the admin." 

BUT REX: “Trump regularly undercuts Secretary of State Tillerson — and it takes a toll” by Oren Dorell: “Tillerson’s name did not come up during a 75-minute interview this week with a senior U.S. diplomat about the American role of a dispute between Palestinians and Israel over Israel's security measures on the Temple Mount Instead, U.S. consulate staff in Jerusalem and Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, have dealt directly with the White House, where Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is directing U.S.-Israel policy, said the diplomat, who is familiar with the discussion.” [USAToday

“A double standard for Trump on Israel” by Rob Eshman: “What if Barack Obama had said nothing about the indescribably awful photos of the Salomon family murder scene? His Jewish detractors would have pilloried him — and rightly so. The contrast points to something more and more apparent: a double standard applied by the pro-Israel community to Trump and his predecessor. Three weeks ago, Trump recertified Iran’s compliance with the Iran nuclear deal Did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fly to Washington and speak to Congress to publicly condemn Trump? Did Trump’s Jewish supporters call him a traitor to Israel and an Iranian puppet? Nope. Double standard.” [JewishJournal

THE SHELDON BIBI MEDIA BATTLE CONTINUES -- Yesterday, Sheldon Adelson's Yisrael Hayom wrote on its front page that Netanyahu's agreeing to get rid of metal detectors outside the Temple Mount was weak. Today, right-wing news site NRG, which is also owned by Adelson, reported that sources close to Netanyahu were badmouthing the Shin Bet security agency. The Prime Minister's Office took the unusual step of sending a strongly-worded denial to its whole mailing list, calling the report in the Adelson-owned outlet "fictitious." [KafeKnesset]

“Tillerson faces fights on eliminating envoys” by Nahal Toosi: “On Thursday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider legislation that will give lawmakers a greater say over how special envoy jobs are filled. In the meantime, as word spreads that Tillerson has left certain envoy positions vacant or is mulling cutting them altogether, a slew of critics have emerged to protest. Jewish organizations and many lawmakers are furious that Tillerson hasn't yet named a new special envoy to combat anti-Semitism The Trump team's failure to appoint an envoy dedicated to combating anti-Semitism—a role mandated by Congress—has stirred anger across the political spectrum. Last week, the Anti-Defamation League delivered a petition with thousands of signatures demanding that Tillerson fill the slot.” [Politico

NOMINATION: Yesterday, President Trump announced the nomination of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to be Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department. Rabbi David Saperstein, who headed the Office for International Religious Freedom until January 2017, was the first non-Christian to hold the post. 

Rob Wasinger, Brownback's former chief of staff in the Senate and manager of his 2008 presidential campaign, tells JI's Jacob Kornbluh... "The President could not have found a better advocate for international religious freedom than Sam Brownback. Sam has a deep and abiding commitment to ensuring religious freedom around the world; and he will be a great addition to the State Department team."

TOP TALKER: “Jared Kushner’s Dream Team Goes Full Speed” by Emily Jane Fox: “By the time Kushner stood at the dais Monday, and delivered what was generally a nonplussing performance, something shifted. It was the first time that the machinery Kushner has built around him was able to fire on all cylinders, and for the moment, it worked. After three hours with the Congressional Intelligence committee on Tuesday, it appeared that he might move past the darkest moment in his short political career. “In my opinion, Kushner was very forthcoming,” Democratic congressman Jim Himes said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe “It was a very refreshing change of tone from the tone we’re getting out of the Oval Office, where the president is saying this is a hoax. Kushner took this very, very seriously.” The sentiments were echoed by the top Democrat on the panel, Adam Schiff.” [VanityFair Partisan tensions flare after Kushner interview [Politico

DRIVING THE DAY -- “Trump Bows to Religious Right, Bans Trans Troops” by Asawin Suebsaeng, Kimberly Dozier, Spencer Ackerman and Emma Kerr: “The more socially liberal factions of Trump’s inner circle—including his family members and staffers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner—have been opposed to all the anti-LGBT initiatives of this administration. However, they quickly determined that their “political capital be spent elsewhere,” as one senior White House official characterized it, given that their advice on LGBT issues has been routinely overruled, if not overlooked, by this administration and President Trump.” [DailyBeast

“Furious Gay Rights Advocates See Trump’s ‘True Colors’” by Maggie Haberman: “Where’s Jared?” President of the Human Rights Campaign Chad Griffin asked. “Where’s Ivanka?” [NYTimes]

“Trump Just Banned Transgender Soldiers, Claiming They Make Us Less Safe. Israel Begs to Differ” by Yair Rosenberg: “Israel—a tiny country surrounded by enemies that has been repeatedly targeted for extermination, leaving it with no margin for error—has drafted transgender soldiers since 2013. Today, the Israel Defense Forces covers the costs of gender reassignment surgery for its recruits. While the IDF allows exemptions from mandatory service for medical, cultural, and religious reasons, it does not consider being transgender a disability or liability Trump likes to assert that he is very pro-Israel. If that is genuinely the case, he might want to learn a thing or two from the Jewish state’s treatment of transgender people, in and out of the military.” [Tablet]  

ON THE HILL -- Graham asks if AIPAC should register as a foreign agent -- by Aaron Magid: During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Adam Hickey, a senior U.S. Department of Justice official, whether AIPAC should “register as a foreign agent.” The South Carolina lawmaker explained his question by adding, “They come up here in droves: lobbying Congress to do things, in their view good for the U.S.-Israel relationship. I know they have a lot of contacts in Israel. Should somebody like that be a foreign agent?”

Graham: “I’m not suggesting that AIPAC is doing anything wrong, quite the contrary, they are a group of Americans who have banded together to maximize their influence to speak about something important to them that involves a foreign ally so I think the AIPAC model is a good thing and that’s not my concern because they are very transparent,” Graham said. “They have conventions, and we all know how the game is played there, so I just want to make sure that lobbying on behalf of a foreign government or a U.S. relationship with a foreign government is not a bad thing as long as you do it right.”

Kevin Bishop, Graham’s Communications Director, tells us... “Graham was not criticizing AIPAC in any way.” [JewishInsider]  

Republican and Democratic Senators explain their positions on the Israel Anti Boycott Act -- by Aaron Magid: “I frequently disagree with the ACLU,” said Senator Todd Young (R-IN). “I think it’s consistent with our first amendment freedoms. There are always limits on every right that we have. I don’t think this tramples on the Constitution. The [state] of Israel has been on the receiving end in international forums and increasingly on public universities of a pressure campaign to relent to their international critics. One of which is anti-Semitism and to distract from internal challenges. I think this bill is a necessary corrective to all those actions.” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) emphasized, “The BDS movement has moved far beyond the notion of free speech into hatred and anti-semitic territory. That’s why I believe it’s important that we push back as strongly as possible against any such movement I strongly support efforts to combat the BDS movement.”

For Senator James Risch (R-ID), the cause of fighting BDS is straightforward. “I think anti-Semitism is despicable and I think this legislation goes a long way to put that back on the shelf where it belongs,” he said.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA): “This is a dispute that I’m trying to resolve for myself. The ACLU’s position causes me concern. I have heard others argue that they are reading the bill wrong. Maybe that’s the case and maybe there’s something that could be added that could clarify that the free speech issues are not of concern We had a SFRC Dems meeting about this yesterday. We are not expecting immediate action about this, but we are going to try and resolve this concern. Even the proponents of the bill: we don’t want to get into these free speech issues. So whether or not the ACLU position is right or wrong, I haven’t sat down with all of the statutes myself. We’ll continue to work on it.” [JewishInsider

“U.S. lawmakers reach deal for Senate vote on Russia sanctions” by Patricia Zengerle: “Senator Bob Corker, a Republican, said the Senate would move to approve sanctions on Russia and Iran it passed six weeks ago The sanctions package passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 419-3 on Wednesday and is expected to garner similar support in the Senate. That would easily overcome a veto by Trump.” [Reuters

“When the White House Lies About You” by Bret Stephens: “[Dan] Scavino’s failure to correct the record on something as minute as my exchange with Pompeo suggests he’ll lie about anything. And this is the guy who stands at the heart of the Trump administration’s social media operation — the most demagogic enterprise of our time If Anthony Scaramucci is serious about cleaning house in his new shop, dismissing Scavino should be a priority. I’ll take it instead of the apology I’m still owed.” [NYTimes]  

“Scaramucci name drops ‘Cain and Abel’ when talking about Priebus” by Louis Nelson: ““If you want to talk about the chief of staff, we have had odds. We have had differences. When I said we were brothers from the podium, that's because we're rough on each other. Some brothers are like Cain and Abel. Other brothers can fight with each other and get along,” [Anthony] Scaramucci said Thursday during a phone interview on CNN’s “New Day.” “I don't know if this is reparable or not, that will be up to the president.” In the Book of Genesis, Cain killed Abel.” [Politico]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: “Lawyers upon lawyers upon lawyers: In Trump World, everyone has an attorney” by Ben Terris: "Over the years, attorneys would play a bigger and bigger role in Trump’s life, and [Roy] Cohn’s never-back-down strategy would become his mantra “When we first started doing deals, he’d read everything,” Jonathan A. Bernstein, a former attorney for one of the Trump Organization’s top law firms, Dreyer and Traub, said “When he got busy and trusted more, he read less and less and let the lawyers be the lawyers.” In time came Michael Cohen, once known as “Trump’s pit bull,” who worked for the Trump Organization There was Marc Kasowitz, who until recently was heading up the outside legal response to the Russia investigation There’s Jay Sekulow, the former lead attorney for Jews for Jesus and a radio talk-show personality, who represents Trump personally The lawyers are everywhere, but it’s not entirely clear that Trump or his family are interested at all in taking advice “It’s utter chaos,” a lawyer who has worked with many of Trump’s lawyers said. “Sometimes it can be like no one knows who is in charge.”” [WashPost

STATE-SIDE: “Friedman breezes to Massachusetts state Senate seat” by Aaron Curtis: “Cindy Friedman, the former chief of staff to the late Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, will fill the seat of her former boss after easily winning the special election Tuesday over Green-Rainbow party candidate Ian Jackson The spot became vacant when Donnelly died in April after battling a brain tumor. He was 66. During her campaign, Friedman has identified her focus as health care, the environment and education.” [LowellSun]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Elliott wins more time to beat Berkshire Hathaway's Oncor deal [Reuters] This Israeli Startup -- WalkMe -- Netted $75 Million to Wring The Most Out of Your Software [Fortune]  WeWork launches dedicated China business backed by $500M from investors [TechCrunch]  Netflix producing Israeli spy thriller 'The Angel' to premiere next year [JPost]  Slack just got a $5 billion valuation in a mega funding round led by SoftBank and Accel [BusinessInsider]

START UP NATION: “Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Are Getting Their First Startup Fund” by Gwen Ackerman: “With a target of $5 million, the 12Angels fund is meant to encourage the slow but steady inroads the ultra-Orthodox, or haredi, community is making into an industry dominated by veterans of elite Israeli military units. Its first investment, of $150,000, was supplemented by the head of Facebook Israel, the chief scientist’s office and another fund Some of Israel’s top executives -- including the country manager of Facebook Israel, Adi Soffer Teeni; Chemi Peres, managing general partner of Pitango Venture Capital, and Dov Moran, founder of M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. -- have invested their own money in the fund. The government is also investing in haredi entrepreneurs, eager to keep Israel a global tech hub that now produces about a third of the country’s economic output.” [Bloomberg

“Viral Facebook star to hold Jewish-Arab Jerusalem meetup” by Amy Spiro: “This Friday afternoon in Jerusalem is bound to be tense “It seems like the whole world is either with Israel or with Palestine,” [Nuseir] Yassin, who goes by “Nas” on his hugely popular Facebook page Nas Daily, told The Jerusalem Post... “It seems like there is nobody that is actually in the middle, because the only loud people are the ones in the extreme.” So, amid threats of riots and violence, Yassin, 25, has invited all of his local fans to an event at the First Station – timed to start after Muslim prayers finish but before Shabbat begins – and buses end The Harvard graduate and native of Arrabe in the Lower Galilee decided last year... to give up his New York hi-tech job and travel the world. Since then, he’s lived a nomadic lifestyle, exploring the globe and posting one-minute videos on Facebook for his close to two million followers.” [JPost

“Review: In Two Israeli Plays, the Promise of Peace Keeps Receding” by Alexis Soloski: “We know how to wage war. When waging peace, the strategies are less certain. That tenuous battle has inspired two fitfully involving Israeli plays at this year’s Lincoln Center Festival: an adaptation of David Grossman’s novel “To the End of the Land,” produced by Ha’Bima National Theater and the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv, and “Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination,” directed by the filmmaker Amos Gitai At least Mr. Gitai doesn’t overstress the parallels between Israel in 1995 and the current American moment. The piece’s themes and resonances — the fragility of concord, the manifest dangers of extremist rhetoric — are blunt enough.” [NYTimes

HOLLYWOOD: "Bill Clinton, James Patterson Courting Spielberg, Clooney to Adapt 'President' Book" by Rebecca Ford and Kim Masters: “Sources say that [Bill] Clinton and Patterson themselves will meet with interested producers this week. J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg and George Clooney are among those who will be taking in-person meetings with the pair The project would be the first book-to-film adaptation for Clinton, who has written three books since leaving office in January 2001.” [THR

TONIGHT IN DC -- "Peter Himmelman: ‘A Glimpse of Something Richer’" by Keith Valcourt: "The term multifaceted has never applied to one person more so than to Peter Himmelman, who is a singer, songwriter, motivational speaker, children’s artist, poet and even the voice of a therapy bear. Thirty years (and 37-plus albums in) Mr. Himmelman, who also happens to be Bob Dylan’s son-in-law, continues to motivate creativity with his own work and through his organization Big Muse. He and his band are on the road supporting his latest CD, the particularly solid “There Is No Calamity.” Mr. Himmelman will perform at The Hamilton Thursday evening."

"Q: What is the one thing you need on tour? Himmelman: I have a special diet. I only eat kosher food, so that is always something to think about and consider. Q: Since you only eat kosher, where do you dine in D.C.? A: Well, there might be a kosher place. Probably not. I usually just go into a grocery store. I like to cook. If it is a long time on the road, I will bring some heating elements and pots and pans and make my own. A lot of men don’t cook. I was sort of a latchkey kid, so it was “cook or die” in a certain way." [WashTimes]

MEDIA WATCH: “Trump Is Failing As A President. But He’s Succeeding As Reality TV” by Ben Smith and Kate Aurthur: “That moment-by-moment insight into the inner lives of the cast of Survivor: White House doesn’t always include those on-camera revelations More often, the confessionals come through leaks from the supporting characters: We know about Steve Bannon’s enmity for Jared Kushner, and his complex and shifting relationship with Reince Priebus. We know about Sean Spicer’s frustration, Rex Tillerson’s pique. Everyone is mad at Don Jr.! It’s an emotional mess And the recent rise of Anthony Scaramucci marks a kind of recognition that this is a show Trump may not, yet, have figured out how to be president — but he has monopolized our attention, dominated the narrative and the story, and it would be mistake to dismiss that power.” [BuzzFeed

TALK OF THIS TOWN: “Making a move, Bais Abe rabbi looks toward future at D.C. synagogue” by Eric Berger: “If Rabbi Hyim Shafner encounters Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, at Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C., he already has a line planned: “Hmmm... are you related to the Teaneck Trumps?” Shafner is preparing to become head rabbi at Kesher Israel after he leaves Bais Abraham Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in University City, later this summer Shafner will not be joining a congregation that is still in shock, said Leon Wieseltier, a member of the search committee. “This is not about healing; we have healed,” said Wieseltier, who has been a member for 20 years Over a Shabbat at Kesher, Shafner’s “learning was obvious” and he was “uncommonly warm and solicitous. He just seemed to be enthusiastic about human relations,” said Wieseltier Shafner said one of the first things he heard from Kesher Israel members was “you can never talk about politics from the pulpit because everyone wants to leave that aside for Shabbat.”” [STLJewishLight

"West Side Judaica Plans To Close After 83 Years, Owner Says" by Gus Saltonstall: "West Side Judaica on Broadway between 88th and 89th Streets plans to close after 83 years, owner Yaakov Saltzer told us. He couldn’t specify when the store would close, but said “I can’t afford the rent and the Internet,” referring to the Internet’s effect on book sales. A tipster had told us that Saltzer said he plans to close sometime in the next couple of months." [WestSideRag] h/t Your Daily Biscuit

"Future development in Surfside, Florida to accommodate Orthodox Jews" by Sergio Carmona: "Menachem Boymelgreen, the Eden Residences' developer, said the development is expected to break ground in four to six months and completed at the end of 2019. He explained the features that will make this project accommodating to Orthodox Jews. "The kitchens are all specialty kitchens created with two sinks, two ovens, two dishwashers and two stove tops," Boymelgreen noted. "Every unit has a private front garden or roof top deck which would be perfect for a sukkah [for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot]. We have two pools and two gyms in the building, one for men and one for woman which will adhere to the rules of Tzniut." [SunSentinel]

DESSERT: "Philly's acclaimed Israeli restaurant Zahav settles class-action suit" by Michael Tanenbaum: "Philadelphia's powerhouse Israeli restaurant Zahav, the jewel of Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov's CookNSolo family, has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by a former server who challenged the restaurant's pooling of tips. Zahav will to pay a total of $230,000 to 41 current and former employees of the Old City restaurant, according to court documents obtained by the Associated Press." [PhillyVoice]

"KFC Won’t Let Franchisees Serve Halal Meat, and Now One Is Suing" by Whitney Filloon: "A KFC franchisee in Chicago is suing the chain after being told he cannot serve halal buckets of chicken. Afzal Lokhandwala owns and operates eight KFC stores in the Chicago area, and says he’s been serving certified halal chicken for more than a decade, according to Courthouse News. Now, however, KFC is enforcing a policy the company says it’s had in place since 2009, which prohibits franchisees from making religious claims about the chain’s food." [Eater]

BIRTHDAYS: Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Stephen M. Greenberg turns 73... Television producer of many popular sitcoms in the 1970s and later founder of the progressive advocacy group, People for the American Way,  Norman Lear turns 95... Former CIA Director (1995-1996) and Deputy Secretary of Defense (1994-1995), now a professor at MIT and on the boards of multiple Fortune 500 companies, John M. Deutch turns 79... Editor, producer and director at Israel's Channel 1 TV where he co-directed the science show and was the education reporter, he is best known for his documentaries of Israel's intelligence agencies, Yarin Kimor turns 65... Comedienne, writer, producer and actress, she was a guest on Late Night with David Letterman over twenty-five times, Carol Leifer turns 61... VP of global communications, marketing and public policy at Facebook since 2008, he previously held a similar position at Google, Elliot Schrage turns 57... Member of the Hungarian Parliament (1990-2009) and member of the European Parliament since 2009, Tamás Deutsch turns 51... Journalist at the Christian Science Monitor since 1981 and now its Washington Bureau Chief, Linda Feldmann... Chief of Staff of the House Republican Conference, Jeremy Deutsch... Media relations specialist, previously an intern at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and a research assistant at the Rothenberg Political Report, Benjamin Rothenberg... 

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