Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: November 14, 2017

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Sheldon Adelson.
Sheldon Adelson.Credit: John Locher/AP
JI Staff

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INTRIGUE: “GOP megadonor Adelson publicly breaks with Bannon” by Alex Isenstadt and Josh Dawsey: “The Adelsons will not be supporting Steve Bannon’s efforts,” said Andy Abboud, an Adelson spokesman. “They are supporting Mitch McConnell 100 percent. For anyone to infer anything otherwise is wrong.” Bannon had been slated to introduce Adelson and his spouse, Miriam, at the [ZOA] event, according to a copy of the program. The Adelsons, however, did not make it to the event, one person close to the couple said — in part because Adelson was concerned that appearing publicly with Bannon would be seen as a tacit endorsement of his efforts.” [Politico]

Speaking to JI’s Jacob Kornbluh, ZOA’s Mort Klein insisted that Adelson never objected to Bannon introducing him at the dinner and the reason for Adelson's absence was that he had also committed to attend the Yad Vashem annual tribute dinner the same night at The Pierre Hotel. “Bannon called me four months ago, when he was still in the White House, and he said, ‘Mort, I love Sheldon Adelson. Would you allow me to introduce him at your dinner?’ And he was the top White House guy working for Trump. I said, ‘Of course.’ Then he left the White House,” Klein explained. “All I can say is that Sheldon never said anything to me about that being an issue. What he might feel deep in his heart, I don’t know.”

Klein noted that Bannon did not actually get an award at the dinner. "We did not invite him to get an award at the dinner. He asked me to introduce Sheldon... Then when Sheldon didn't come, he said, 'Then, can I speak a little bit.' I said, 'Ok.'"

DRIVING THE CONVO: “The Secret Correspondence Between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks” by Julia Ioffe: “Though Trump Jr. mostly ignored the frequent messages from WikiLeaks, he at times appears to have acted on its requests According to a source familiar with the congressional investigations on the same day that Trump Jr. received the first message from WikiLeaks, he emailed other senior officials with the Trump campaign, including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, telling them WikiLeaks had made contact. Kushner then forwarded the email to campaign communications staffer Hope Hicks.” [TheAtlantic

-- “Alan Futerfas, Trump Jr.’s attorney, said his client’s exchanges with WikiLeaks were innocuous. “All sides in this campaign, the Clinton side, the Trump side, were monitoring WikiLeaks to see what they would publish next,” Futerfas said. “If The Washington Post or the New York Times was looking to see what was being released, does that suggest any impropriety on their part? Of course not.”” [WashPost]  

HEARD LAST NIGHT - President Reuven Rivlin at the Jewish Federations of North America's General Assembly in LA, his first major address outside of Israel to a Jewish-American audience: “I remember the first and only time that my father slapped me. It was just after my Bar-Mitzvah. Some relatives from the United States came to visit us. I asked them, “Why don’t you make Aliyah?” I told them, “Israel is the only place for Jews!” And then my father slapped me. He said, “Jews need to take care of each other, not threaten each other.” That slap made me realize that the relationship between us, the Jewish People, must be based on one simple demand: mutual responsibility I always say that there are three principles in Israel’s foreign policy. First, the relations with the United States. Second, the relations with the United States. And third, the relations with the United States. You are an integral part of the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States.” [Pic]

HOW IT PLAYED: "President Rivlin found a Fifth Tribe: Diaspora Jews" by Shmuel Rosner: "To be a fifth tribe is an honor – you are one of us – and a burden – you are one of us. It means that Rivlin just complicated the choreography of the already complicated dance of having to make four tribes get along with one another... Is the Jewish Diaspora a fifth tribe? Does it want to be a fifth tribe? This can be an interesting discussion – but a fifth tribe is surely better than a second people." [JewishJournal]  Israel's president tries to soothe rift between Israel and American Jewry [LATimes]

Consul General Dani Dayan during a panel on Israel-Diaspora relations: "I understand the frustration, but 'Oy Vey' and 'Gevald' are beautiful Yiddish words but are not a substitute for policy and strategy. Moreover, press releases in English published in Manhattan will not sway one Israeli in Sderot, Kiryat Shmona, or even in Tel Aviv... I think you need boots on the ground in Israel to advance the causes you believe in... You have every right to come and educate and lobby. Do it." 

Asked is he's optimistic about healing the rift, Dayan said: "In spite of the fact that we are Jewish, our marriage is Catholic. There is no divorce in this marriage (between Israel and Diaspora)... We may need marital advice... but there is no last straw [or] divorce in our relationship."

HAPPENING TODAY AT THE GA -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the closing plenary session via satellite. Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky will talk about pluralism in Israel and ways to on strengthening the bond between U.S. Jewry and Israel, and three legislators - Canadain MP Michelle Rempel, Sara Feigenholtz, Assistant Majority Leader of Illinois House of Representatives. and Joyce Peppin, Majority Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives - will speak about the anti-BDS legislation they put forward and helped pass in their states.

Re: the two-state solution, David Saranga, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to President Rivlin, tells us..."In bilateral meetings with heads of states, President Rivlin is presenting the position of the Israeli government. Having said that, he always adds that he, particularly, doesn't believe right now in the two-state solution, and he emphasizes - now. But he also adds that in the future both sides will have to decide about the right solution, whether it's a two-state solution, a one-state solution, a federation, or whatever the two sides decides on together." 

“Trump's Middle East peace initiative still on hold” by Ben Caspit: “Al-Monitor has learned that Trump and his staff's original plan was to launch the initiative in January 2018, one year after Trump assumed the presidency. It was supposed to take place in an impressive ceremony in Washington with the participation of Israel (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and the Palestinians (President Mahmoud Abbas), of course, as well as high-level representatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan The intention is to delay the launch until March 2018 The diplomatic sources involved in the process believe the American initiative will not see the light of day unless Netanyahu agrees to it. Another important factor is that Trump has not even approved it yet. It will be brought to him for approval only when it is finished.” [Al-Monitor Worth noting: AIPAC's DC Policy Conference is scheduled for March 4th - 6th. 

Jason Greenblatt posts "Privileged to welcome Michal Salomon, her 5 children & her father to the White House yesterday. Her husband, sister-in-law, and father-in-law were brutally murdered by a terrorist at the Shabbat table. Michal & her children escaped certain death only because of her courage." [Pic]

“Netanyahu Rival Avi Gabbay Makes an $18 Billion Case for Peace” by David Wainer and Michael Arnold: “Much like U.S. President Donald Trump, Israel’s Labor leader Avi Gabbay wants to use his business acumen to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The former chief executive officer of Israel’s largest telecom company even has a number for how much a peace deal would benefit Israel’s economy: 63 billion shekels ($18 billion) per year to the state’s coffers “We are a technology power, but there’s still lots of countries and sectors that won’t do business with Israel because of the absence of a deal,” Gabbay said in an interview Just don’t ask Gabbay how he’d reach a deal; he won’t discuss his positions on the conflict, saying details should be negotiated during talks with the Palestinians.” [Bloomberg

“Echoing Netanyahu, Labor chief says leftists ‘forgot what it means to be a Jew’” by Alexander Fulbright: “In ’97 [Bibi] Netanyahu was caught on camera saying ‘the left forgot what it means to be Jews,'” Gabbay said at an event at Ben Gurion University in Beersheba. “You know what the left did in response to this? Forgot what it means to be a Jew.” [ToI]

KAFE KNESSET - Netanyahu and friends -- by Tal Shalev and JPost's Lahav Harkov: Last night, TV channels led their main news broadcasts with some juicy details from File 1000, the investigation into gifts given to Netanyahu from Arnon Milchan. News relates to the testimony of Milchan’s personal assistant, Hadas Klein, who was the liaison between the Netanyahus, Milchan, and Australian billionaire James Packer. It is alleged that Packer and Milchan split the costs of the gifts. Netanyahu is alleged to have demanded cigars and his wife would ask for champagne bottles, in boxes of six or twelve. “Sarah Netanyahu would call, say that the drink was over, meaning the champagne, and ask for more. There was an understanding that Arnon should provide the Netanyahu couple with what they want,” she said, according to the media reports, which defined the testimony as “dramatic.”Read today's entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

ON THE HILL -- 11 lawmakers warn against demolition of Palestinian villages -- by Aaron Magid: Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) authored a letter signed by 11 House Democrats urging Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to pressure the Israeli government and prevent the demolition of Palestinian villages Susiya and Khan al-Ahmar. The letter was signed by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Mark Pocan (D-WI), James McGovern (D-MA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Betty Mccollum (D-MN), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). [Doc

“It is yet another example of the double standard that anti-Israel politicians apply to the nation state of the Jewish people,” asserted Alan Dershowitz, former law professor at Harvard University. “When is the last time these members of Congress complained about a domestic issue involving another foreign ally? How would Congressmen feel if Israeli members of Knesset started writing letters complaining about how America is dealing with some of its issues?” [JewishInsider]

"Congress Generous, Again, With US Funds for Israel’s Defense" by John Donnelly: "Congress is poised to provide Israel with another $705 million for that country’s missile defenses — nearly five times the Trump administration’s request and the second largest annual installment of such aid to date." [RollCall]

REPORT: A senior U.S. national security delegation is due in Israel today to discuss the ceasefire deal in southwest Syria and the prospective deployment of Iranian-linked forces near the Golan Heights. [Twitter]  Despite Israeli Concerns, Russia Says Iran's Presence in Syria Is Legitimate [Haaretz]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: A Big Deal in Big Food, Irene Rosenfeld Retires From Mondelz [NYTimes]  Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group Bets on Beaten-Up Health Care [Barrons]  Singer's Elliott Builds Stake in Taubman, Urges Changes [Bloomberg] Barry Diller: I hope AT&T-Time Warner goes to court [Axios] Geoff Lewis of Founders Fund has started his own venture capital firm with Eric Stromberg [Recode]  Aryeh Bourkoff on What Tennis Can Teach the World About Globalization [SportsIllustrated

"Apollo Global promotes 2 executives to leadership roles" by Javier Espinoza: "Scott Kleinman, 44, the head of the group’s private equity business in the US, and James Zelter, 55, head of Apollo’s credit business, will take on the newly-created roles of co-presidents from January. Leon Black, 66, will retain his role of chairman and chief executive, Josh Harris, 52, will continue as senior managing director and Marc Rowan, 55, as senior managing director, the company said." [FinancialTimes]

"This CEO Uses Her Jewish Faith as an Advantage" by  Jonathan Vanian: "Speaking Monday during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif., Sarah Hofstetter, the CEO of digital advertising agency 360i described how her life as an observant Orthodox Jew often puts her at odds with colleagues in her field. While most advertising executives may be wining and dining clients or hammering out a big deal on a Friday night, Hofstetter hunkers down at home, where she lights candle, drinks wine, and observes the Sabbath. “You’re never gonna catch me working on a Saturday morning,” she said. “And just because I email you on a Saturday night, you don’t need to email me back. But those are assets.”" [Fortune]

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on the latest podcast episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher: “There is no way on God’s green earth, no matter how many customer service reps Mark Zuckerberg hires, he could ever keep up with the torrent of information,” Greenblatt said... As the Jewish CEO of a nonprofit founded in 1913 to fight anti-Semitism and other social ills, Greenblatt said his own Twitter mentions could definitely benefit from some smart AI filtering. “If I’m walking into Best Buy on a Sunday afternoon and I get tweeted a picture of an oven, that might be okay, because maybe there’s a sale on Whirlpool ovens in aisle 12,” he said. “But if I’m sitting here in your studio and I get tweeted a picture of two ovens and it says ‘Jewish Bunk Beds’ on it, that’s probably not such a nice thing to send to me." [Recode]

TALK OF THE VALLEY -- Yesterday, the ADL launched its Center for Technology and Society and announced that more than a dozen tech sector leaders will serve on CTS’s board of advisors. Board members include Reddit's Steve Huffman, Facebook's Guy Rosen; National Constitution Center's Jeffrey Rosen, Snapchat’s Micah Shaffer, former Twitter executive Katie Jacobs Stanton, and Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe. [ADL]

TOP TALKER: "The New School Invites Linda Sarsour to Lead Panel on Anti-Semitism" by Liel Leibovitz: "Later this month, the university will co-sponsor a panel on anti-Semitism that will feature, among others, Linda Sarsour, who opined that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and believes one cannot support the right of Jews to a homeland of their own and still be a feminist." [Tablet]

Groups protest speech by former Trump assistant at UNC-CH: "Christians United for Israel invited Sebastian Gorka, a former deputy assistant to Trump, to speak on Monday evening, but two groups challenged his beliefs as racist and feel he has no place on campus... Monday afternoon, UNC Hillel, a Jewish group on campus, published a letter in the student newspaper, also condemning Gorka’s visit. They believe he has expressed prejudice against Jews and Muslims. Gorka's comments Monday night focused mainly on foreign policy, but after his speech, he responded to protesters' claims... "They're victims of fake news. They should read my book, read what I've said. They should listen afterward," he said." [WRAL

“The Making of an American Nazi: How did Andrew Anglin go from being an antiracist vegan to the alt-right’s most vicious troll and propagandist—and how might he be stopped?” by Luke O’Brien: “On a rainy Saturday, about 45 protesters, some with black masks covering their faces, gathered outside a drab two-story building in Worthington, a suburb of Columbus, where Anglin’s father, Greg, runs a Christian counseling service Among the protesters in the rain outside Greg’s office, I met Anglin’s preschool teacher, Gail Burkholder, who described being shocked when she’d learned that her former student had grown up to be a notorious white nationalist. “Why would I think one of my students would become a Nazi who wants to kill me?” said Burkholder, who is Jewish Anglin hadn’t been to the polls in years, but he wasn’t going to miss a chance to vote for Trump. His absentee ballot arrived in Ohio from Krasnodar, a city in southwest Russia near the Black Sea... That the Russian government wouldn’t know about an American inside its borders publishing a major neo-Nazi website seems improbable” [TheAtlantic]

"Holocaust victim's family brought together by pendant found beneath death camp floorboards" by Georgina Prodhan: "Karolina Cohn may have known the Holocaust diarist Anne Frank: the two girls were born in Frankfurt just three weeks apart... Nothing more was known of her fate until archaeologists excavating the site of Sobibor in Poland found her pendant, inscribed with her date and place of birth and the words “good luck” in Hebrew. It was similar to one that belonged to Frank. After the pendant was found, researchers used the database of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem to contact Cohn’s family members around the world. On Monday 34 of them came together to witness the placing of a brass “Stolperstein”... in the pavement outside Cohn’s former family home." [Reuters]

HOLLYWOOD: Gal Gadot Is GQ's 2017 Wonder Woman of the Year: "GQ writer Caity Weaver travelled to Tel Aviv to find out more about this real-life wonder of a woman. Between beach days, egg sandwiches, and a litany of Danishes, [Gal] Gadot talks about breaking into Hollywood, life as one of the most famous people in Israel... including the definitive answer on how to pronounce her name." [GQ Watch: When Rivlin met Gadot  [JPost]

"Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's new action-comedy 'Future Man' happily draws from the past" by Chris Barton: “Future Man,” a half-hour action-comedy that arrives on Hulu Nov. 14, centers around Josh Futturman (“Hunger Games” alum Josh Hutcherson), a frustrated janitor who lives with his parents, the show blasts off when Josh completes an impossibly difficult video game. Seth Rogen executive produces the series along with his writing partner Evan Goldberg, who have often nodded to their influences in movies like “This Is the End” and “Pineapple Express.” [LATimes]

COMING SOON: “What to expect at Manna and Milk & Honey, the eateries at the new Museum of the Bible” by Holley Simmons: “Ellen Kassoff Gray admits that she and her husband, Todd, love getting geeky when it comes to food history Her time in Israel, and their research on the cultural aspects of religion, helped spark Milk & Honey, a casual cafe, and Manna, a cafeteria-style restaurant serving Israeli street food, at the museum Opening Friday, the Museum of the Bible — a 430,000-square foot, $500 million project founded by the head of Hobby Lobby Steven Green — features six floors of exhibitions and about 1,000 artifacts that trace the impact and history of the Bible. Milk & Honey (“What else would a Jewish girl call her cafe?” Ellen says) is located on the museum's mezzanine level.” [WashPost

"Hobby Lobby Scion Spent Millions on Biblical Relics—Then Came a Reckoning" by Kelly Crow: "Green and his family have amassed a $205 million collection of roughly 40,000 artifacts over the past eight years, spanning Egyptian mummy masks from the time of Moses to sacred scrolls inscribed by rabbis and monks to a copy of the Bible once owned by Elvis Presley. Yet for the past three years, staff members at the museum have been sifting and rejecting potential donations from the Green collection that carried lingering questions of provenance, its director David Trobisch said." [WSJ]

TALK OF THE TOWN: "Baltimore Homecoming aims to draw accomplished natives back home" by Lorraine Mirabella: "The nonprofit Baltimore Homecoming Inc., launched Monday by Baltimore natives Nate Loewentheil and JM Schapiro, aims to tap the talents and resources of Baltimore expatriates who have made a mark in their field but may have lost touch with the city." [BaltimoreSun; WJZ]

BIRTHDAYS: Managing Director of Media at Emerson Collective, he was previously the deputy business editor of The New York Times, Peter T. Lattman turns 47... Deputy National Security Advisor for President Obama and a key figure in the JCPOA with Iran, Ben Rhodes turns 40... US Secretary of State (2005-2009), now on the faculties of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution, Condoleezza Rice turns 63... Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama throughout his eight year term in the White House, Valerie Jarrett turns 61... Senior communications officer at the Detroit-based William Davidson Foundation, Cynthia Shaw turns 59... Former president of the University of Chicago (1993-2000), where he continues to teach economics, Hugo F. Sonnenschein, Ph.D. turns 77... Cellist and professor at Moscow Conservatoire, Natalia Gutman turns 75... Former professional bodybuilder who played for two seasons with the New York Jets, Mike Katz turns 73... Los Angeles businessman, community leader and political activist, Stanley Treitel turns 73...

Member of the UK's House of Lords since 2010, he is a former Chairman of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, Baron Jeremy Beecham turns 73... British Labour party member of Parliament since 1997, Louise Ellman turns 72... Democratic member of the New York State Assembly since 2001 from Brooklyn, Steven H. Cymbrowitz turns 64... President of Middlebury College in Vermont since 2015, Laurie L. Patton turns 56... Partner at the Santa Monica-based law firm of Murphy Rosen, Edward A. Klein turns 54... Senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, professor of political science at George Washington University and associate editor of The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog, Sarah A. Binder turns 53... Founder of White Light Strategies, Lana Talya Volftsun Fern turns 31 (h/ts Playbook)... Senior Director at Albright Stonebridge Group, he was previously a speechwriter for Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta, Jacob Freedman...

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