Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: September 20, 2018

Previewing UNGA -Trump vs. Iran ■ Cory Booker's mom echoes a Jewish mother ■ Lloyd Blankfein skips Red Sox lunch due to Yom Kippur

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits on the new high-speed train between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, September 20, 2018.
THOMAS COEX / AFP

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Over Yom Kippur... Russia blamed Israel for the loss of a Russian military plane shot down by Syrian forces. Putin and Netanyahu worked to defuse further tensions and Israel's Air Force Chief is heading to Moscow to offer the Russians more information on the incident... Prime Minister Theresa May pledged on Monday to protect British Jewish identity and Israel’s right to defend itself... Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked the DOJ to determine if John Kerry violated federal laws meeting with Iranian officials... Elliott Broidy’s lawyers claim Qatari hackers have been conducting phishing attacks since at least 2014 against Syrian human rights activists, Egyptian soccer players, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and his wife Debbie, among others... It turns out New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign manager and top aides knew about the content in the anti-Cynthia Nixon mailer before Larry Schwartz signed off on it... Julia Salazar told Jewish Insider she's ‘hopeful’ she will overcome recent controversies... and the Daily Mail photographed Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump on their way to Yom Kippur services... 

PREVIEWING UNGA — Iran to try to divide Trump from allies at UN gathering — by Nahal Toosi, David Herszenhorn and Matthew Karnitschnig: "Donald Trump sees next week’s main session of the United Nations General Assembly as a chance to condemn Iran for spreading what he’s called “chaos and terror” through the Middle East... Trump’s speech to the General Assembly, set for September 25, will include tough anti-Iran language, an administration official confirmed. And Iran’s behavior is still expected to come up during the U.N. Security Council session Trump will chair, tentatively set for September 26." [PoliticoEU]  Macron to Meet Trump, Rouhani at UN Next Week, Aides Say [Bloomberg

U.S. seeking to negotiate a treaty with Iran —  by Lesley Wroughton: "The United States is seeking to negotiate a treaty with Iran to include Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its regional behavior, the U.S. special envoy for Iran said on Wednesday ahead of U.N. meetings in New York next week... “The new deal that we hope to be able to sign with Iran, and it will not be a personal agreement between two governments like the last one, we seek a treaty,” envoy Brian Hook told an audience at the Hudson Institute think tank." [Reuters]

— Trump Hit Iran With Oil Sanctions. So Far, They’re Working — by Clifford Krauss: "Nearly two months before American oil sanctions go into effect, Iran’s crude exports are plummeting. International oil companies, including those from countries that are still committed to the nuclear agreement, are bailing out of deals with Tehran." [NYTimes]

Abbas to hold Middle East meeting in New York: "Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has invited Middle East envoys, foreign ministers and Security Council diplomats to a meeting in New York next week to discuss prospects for peace, the Palestinian ambassador said Wednesday." [AFP]

REPORT — "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to swap the slot for his UN General Assembly address with the President of Cyprus in order to speak during Israeli prime time and before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas... Channel 10 reports that while the Cypriot leader was said to have agreed to the trade, UN organizers rejected the move." [ToI

Despite Rising Tensions, Trump Administration Says Palestinian Authority Fighting Terrorism — by Amir Tibon: "The annual “country reports on terrorism” document for 2017 compliments the Palestinian government in Ramallah for constraining the activities of Hamas and other terror groups, and for arresting terrorists who planned attacks against Israelis. This year’s report is the first one to be published fully under the guidance of the Trump administration." [Haaretz

Roula Khalaf writes... "Israel and the Arab states make eyes at each other. Meanwhile, the Palestinians are increasingly being marginalized or ignored: In a recent conversation I had with an Israeli official, the Palestinians were mentioned once or twice, and almost in passing. In Fear, journalist Bob Woodward’s book on Donald Trump’s White House, they don’t feature at all... Israeli officials are right to point to a shift in the mood music and to a quiet expansion of covert co-operation with Arab states... All sides prefer to stay mum on the details but the whispers are that, under the radar, intelligence and technological co-operation is taking place." [FinancialTimes]

Tom Friedman: "If a Kushner-Trump plan embraced the Arab-Palestinian minimums, Bibi would have to either reject it — exposing his real position — or jettison some of his far-right political supporters and form a new government prepared to negotiate on the U.S. terms. He could definitely do the latter — if he wanted." [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE REGION — Jordan Scrambles to Recoup Funds for Palestinians Lost to U.S. Cuts — by Felicia Schwartz: "Jordan has embarked on an overseas lobbying campaign to replace funding that the Trump administration pulled last month... from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency... Last week Jordan convened a meeting of the Arab League in Egypt to solicit more funds. Saudi Arabia and others pledged support but not additional money. Next week, Jordan will host a conference with Sweden, Germany, Japan and others on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York."

"A Trump administration official said the U.S. welcomes efforts by Jordan and others to solicit additional funds for Unrwa, but said such initiatives won’t succeed." [WSJ]

Ambassador David Friedman tweets this morning: "The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission has confirmed that the family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld is “eligible to receive a monthly salary” as compensation for his incarceration. This practice is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace." 

Turkey's Erdogan Is All Over East Jerusalem — by Jonathan Ferziger: "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is all over east Jerusalem. Muslim worshipers raise his picture at Friday prayers, restaurants display the Turkish flag on their walls, and tens of thousands of his citizens have been sent to the Israeli-controlled holy city on pilgrimages to prevent its “Judaization.” ... Erdogan’s presence there has fueled concern in Jordan that he may challenge its historic guardianship over the eighth-century Al Aqsa complex." [Bloomberg

2020 WATCH — Cory Booker’s got a lot of love to give, and he’s betting that’s what it will take to win in 2020 — by Jonathan Van Meter: "Booker’s singleness, coming more than a century later, is another way he stands out from other presidential candidates... Booker’s mother, Carolyn, has made peace with her son’s life choices. “I would love for him to have someone to share his life with,” she says. “I remain hopeful for that. But I figured out a long time ago that this is Cory’s calling. We just have to sit back and give him the support that he needs to do it in the way that he can best serve that calling.” Lots of people around Booker talk like that, almost as if he’s chosen the priesthood — the single, relentlessly optimistic, middle-aged man who lives a rather monkish existence in his “crappy” basement apartment in the capital or his humble townhouse with his brother’s family." [NYMag]

MIDTERMS — Tightening Texas race boosts Democrats' hopes of taking Senate — by Chris Kahn: "The Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics Poll released on Wednesday of several competitive U.S. Senate races... [showed] U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas had a 2-percentage-point lead over [Ted] Cruz among likely voters in the state... The poll also showed Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, with a 1-percentage-point lead over Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson... The poll showed Nevada U.S. Senator Dean Heller holding a 3-percentage-point lead over Democratic U.S. Representative Jacky Rosen." [Reuters]

-- Ted Cruz slams Beto O’Rourke over Israel vote: "In speeches throughout Texas, Cruz is now consistently bringing up O’Rourke’s 2014 vote against sending $225 million in additional funding to Israel for its missile defense system called Iron Dome." [HoustonChronicle]

-- Marc Stanley, former chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council, writes... "It’s not kosher to say Beto O’Rourke doesn’t support Israel: O’Rourke has an outstanding record on Israel. As a member of Congress, he has consistently voted for foreign aid to Israel. He also supports joint US-Israel missile-defense systems. That is despite casting one “no” vote on a defense appropriations bill, which was nothing more than a protest against rushing appropriations votes without debate. It was not a vote against assistance for Israel, which O’Rourke supports. That is why he intentionally voted toward the end of the roll call, knowing that the bill would pass without his vote." [JPost]

Anti-Semitic Mailer Dogs Cuomo, Even After Big Victory — by Jesse McKinley: "Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo might have assumed that his big win in last week’s Democratic primary would end talk about the last-minute piece of campaign mail that falsely suggested his opponent, Cynthia Nixon, was ambivalent about anti-Semitism. He was mistaken. Nearly a week after Mr. Cuomo’s impressive victory, the mailer was once again stirring up questions on Wednesday about who among the governor’s inner circle had known of it, as well as providing a renewed talking point for Marcus J. Molinaro, the Republican candidate for governor." [NYTimes]

Julia Salazar ‘hopeful’ she will overcome controversies — by Jacob Kornbluh: “I feel vindicated, yeah,” Salazar told Jewish Insider at the Brooklyn Dems’ post-primary breakfast Monday morning. “I feel I overcame a lot in the last few weeks.” Though she was skeptical that the Jewish community would fully embrace her after facing scrutiny for false statements regarding her Jewish identity, Salazar said she was “hopeful” that the Jewish community in her district will accept her as their representative. [JewishInsider]

Andrew Gillum campaign says attacks casting him as anti-Israel are ‘irresponsible’ — by David Smiley: "Gillum, who spoke on the issues Sunday during a visit to Miami Beach, says that he’s been against the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement during the entirety of his gubernatorial run, despite what he calls inaccurate reports of a shifting stance. A campaign spokesman for the Tallahassee mayor also explained that Gillum’s association with organizations that back the BDS movement or oppose anti-boycott legislation shouldn’t be construed as support for those positions..." [MiamiHerald]  Sheriff Scott Israel helping Andrew Gillum raise money in governor's campaign [SunSentinel]

New racial controversy batters DeSantis — by Marc Caputo: "A Republican activist who donated more than $20,000 to Ron DeSantis and lined up a speech for him at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club called President Obama a “F---- MUSLIM N----” on Twitter recently, in addition to other inflammatory remarks... Alembik’s criticisms of Islam and support of Israel found a home at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in February where he organized a gala for a conservative group called “Truth About Israel.” Alembik said he was able to get DeSantis to attend the event because they’ve known each other for years." [Politico]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: The Redstone Family Legal Drama May Be About to Explode [VanityFairBob Bakish on How Disney-Fox Helps Viacom and His Phone Call With CBS Corp.'s Acting CEO [HollywoodReporter]  WeWork Surpasses JPMorgan as Biggest Occupier of Manhattan Office Space [WSJ]  In the Wake of Disaster, Mitchell Rales’ Art Paradise Bloomed [Bloomberg]  Saddled With $42M in Debt, Seasons Kosher Supermarket Files for Bankruptcy [CommercialObserver]  Marketing Analytics Startup Singular Raises $30 Million [CTech

STARTUP NATION — Digital Marketplace Freightos Gains $45 Million in New Funding Round — by Erica Phillips: "Digital freight-booking marketplace Freightos has raised nearly $45 million in a Series C funding round to expand its technology and geographic reach and develop financial instruments for the container shipping business... “It’s very much about a strategic relationship,” said Zvi Schreiber, Freightos’s chief executive. Freightos plans to work with Singapore Exchange to deliver its container shipping index on a daily basis." [WSJ]

De Blasio has secret meeting with Red Sox management — by Kevin Dugan and Yoav Gonen: "Mayor Bill de Blasio met secretly with Red Sox brass for a 90-minute lunch on Wednesday at the downtown offices of Goldman Sachs... Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein — a Yankees fan who years ago hawked hot dogs at Yankees Stadium — was not at the meeting because of the Jewish holiday, sources said." [NYPost]

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Inks Book Deal: "Emanuel's book, entitled "The Nation City: Why Mayors Run the World," will be released in the spring of 2020, publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced Tuesday. The book will focus on "effective governing in a time of historic gridlock," a statement from the publisher said... The book is the first glimpse Emanuel has revealed of his plans for the future after he leaves office in May 2019." [NBCChicago]

MEDIA WATCH — Annie Karni Joins The Times as a White House Correspondent: "We’re thrilled to announce that Annie Karni will become a White House correspondent, and will join our formidable team of Peter Baker, Julie Davis, Maggie Haberman, Mark Landler, Katie Rogers and Mike Shear... At Politico, Annie traveled with the president to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Britain and Finland and was the author of a wide range of features and exclusives... Like Maggie, Annie is a graduate of a formidable school of journalism — the New York tabloids." [NYT]

Marc Benioff Explains Why He Is Buying Time Magazine — by David Streitfeld: "While having a massage late Sunday, the West Coast-based tech billionaire discussed via text message why he was entering the East Coast-based media industry by acquiring Time Inc.’s flagship publication... Marc Benioff, the chief executive of the software company Salesforce, and his wife, Lynne, said on Sunday that they had agreed to buy Time magazine from Meredith Corporation for $190 million in cash." [NYT; Recode]

-- Is the Shofar … an Instrument of Technological Disruption? "While Mr. Zuckerberg was blowing his shofar before a virtual crowd, Mr. Benioff, 54, was blowing his own, in a synagogue, before a congregation at the ornate-domed Temple Emanu-El in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. Backed by a talented guitarist, the holy ark and a toddler wielding a purple plastic horn, Mr. Benioff raised what looked like the shofar of all shofars: a long, curled, hollowed-out horn. With cheeks and chest full, he exhaled a tekiah-gedolah as well as any of the talis-draped rabbis beside him." [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE TOWN — Charlotte Jews answer SOS from Wilmington: Send kosher food! —by Tim Funk: "On Tuesday morning, a helicopter loaded with 150 pounds of food — including kosher chicken, kosher yogurt, cream cheese, and “honey cakes,” traditional treats for a sweet Jewish New Year — took off for the airport in Wilmington. When it arrived at about 1:30 p.m. — just hours before Yom Kipper was to begin at sundown — [Rabbi Moshe] Leiblich was there to pick it up... The rabbi spent the rest of the daylight hours Tuesday driving roads that were still passable, delivering ready-to-eat meals to Jewish families getting ready for the holiday." [CharlotteObserver]

Town accused of bias against Orthodox Jews settles lawsuit: "A New Jersey town has agreed to repeal an ordinance that state officials said discriminated against Orthodox Jews. The moves, announced Monday, resolve a lawsuit the state attorney general’s office filed against Mahwah last October. The town had already repealed an ordinance that barred out-of-state residents from using its parks. Officials agreed that repeal will remain in effect." [AP]

TALK OF OUR NATION — A Glimpse Inside the Hidden World of Hasidic Women —by Sarah Maslin Nir: "Sharon Pulwer was lost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, shortly after moving here from Israel to study photography, when she came across the black hats and modest clothes of religious Jews in New York City... Ms. Pulwer, now 24, had stumbled upon members of Chabad-Lubavitch... As she learned more, Ms. Pulwer became intrigued by the community’s adherence to biblical precepts that strictly delimit the roles of men and women... Eager to learn, she approached a group outside 770 Eastern Parkway, unaware it was the world headquarters of the movement, and was surprised to find herself welcomed in as an observer." [NYTimes]

SPORTS BLINK — Tomer Hemed stars in QPR win after Yom Kippur fast — by Ben Weich: "Israeli footballer Tomer Hemed came off the bench to help Queens Park Rangers to a 2-0 win over Millwall on Wednesday night – despite the fact he was still fasting for Yom Kippur when the game kicked off. Hemed, who joined the West London club on loan in August, started the match on the bench... His manager, Steve McClaren, told Sky Sports before the match that Hemed would eat during the first half, and come on as a substitute if needed." [TheJC]

Mavericks and Mark Cuban Sanctioned by N.B.A. Over Handling of Sexual Harassment — by Scott Cacciola: "Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, will pay $10 million to women’s leadership and domestic-violence organizations under an agreement with the N.B.A. announced Wednesday to address sexual harassment and other improper conduct among employees in the team’s front office." [NYTimes]

-- Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted out ESPN's story on Cuban and the Mavericks: "Fine work by Rachel Nichols on a very serious matter." 

DESSERT — Vegan Bon Chocolatier Opens in Bay Harbor Islands — by Hannah Sentenac: "The next time your chocolate craving kicks in, Bon Chocolatiers in Bay Harbor Islands is happy to help. The newly opened all-vegan and kosher confectioner sells chocolate bars... and other sweet treats. The almost-too-pretty-to-eat, colorful creations were dreamed up by Parisian couple Deborah and Yoann Andreu." [MiamiNewTimes]

Baked in Baltimore to open in former Goldman's Kosher Bakery site —by Lorraine Mirabella: "A bakery business with Washington roots has acquired the former Goldman’s Kosher Bakery site in Northwest Baltimore. Baked in Baltimore will open Saturday at 6848 Reisterstown Road, where the 52-year-old, family-owned Goldman’s had operated since 1973 before closing in January. The new business... was co-founded by attorney and entrepreneur April N. Richardson, who grew up in Baltimore and also operates DC Sweet Potato Cakes." [BaltimoreSun]

Pastrami Plus to open second Long Island location, in Franklin Square  — by Jim Merritt: "There’s a slice of good news on the kosher-style deli front: Pastrami Plus, the little delicatessen in East Meadow known for its warm, peppery pastrami and multi-flavor knishes, is expanding to a new location down the pike in Franklin Square. Sal Gawish, an immigrant from Egypt who learned the business at Grabstein’s in Canarsie, Brooklyn, and also worked at Bellmore’s now-defunct Bellcrest kosher deli, opened the East Meadow store in 2003." [Newsday]

BIRTHDAYS: Journalist and author Martin Tolchin turns 90... Florida real estate developer who acquired 785 acres of mostly swamp land in South Florida for $6 million in 1967 and converted it into Aventura and Turnberry Isle Resort, Donald Soffer turns 86... Author, television personality and philanthropist, she is the widow of Aaron Spelling, Carole Gene "Candy" Spelling turns 73... Long-time SVP at Booz-Allen after a career than included two White House staff positions, former CEO of Special Olympics International, Bruce Pasternack turns 71... Businessman, engineer, inventor, philanthropist, co-founder of Broadcom and owner of the Anaheim Ducks, Henry Samueli turns 64... Rabbi of Congregation Beit Torat Chaim of Jakarta, Indonesia and the founder and director of Outreach Judaism, Rabbi Tovia Singer turns 58...

Civil rights attorney, author and legal analyst on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News and MSNBC, Lisa Bloom turns 57... Founder of PFAP Consulting, Melissa Jane Kronfeld, Ph.D. turns 36... National security, homeland security and foreign policy advisor to Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), James Mazol turns 32... Associate director of the Middle East Program at the DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, previously a political assistant at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, Emily Grunewald turns 31... Director of membership for the Sacramento-based California Solar & Storage Association, Carter Lavin turns 30... Business development associate at ActionIQ, Alison Bogdonoff turns 29... OneTable's Zoe Plotsky... Isabel Tsesarsky... Bloomberg LP's legal reporter, Drew Singer... Lauren Ackerman...