Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: September 28, 2018

Netanyahu reveals 'secret atomic warehouse' in Tehran | New book details Kushner-Christie feud |Compass nabs $400M

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White House Adviser Jared Kushner waves as he arrives at the Office of the United States Trade Representative in Washington, August 29, 2018.
White House Adviser Jared Kushner waves as he arrives at the Office of the United States Trade Representative in Washington, August 29, 2018.Credit: Jacquelyn Martin,AP

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AT THE UN ― Addressing the United National General Assembly yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed publicly for the first time a new “secret atomic warehouse” in downtown Tehran. Netanyahu urged the IAEA to inspect the newly-disclosed atomic warehouse before the Iranians finish clearing it out. And he issued a new warning to Iran: "Israel knows what you’re doing, and Israel knows where you’re doing it... We will act against you whenever and wherever we must act to defend our state and defend our people." 

Netanyahu also accused Hezbollah of placing secret facilities to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision guided missiles near the Beirut international airport. 

HOW IT PLAYED ― Drama, visual aids as Netanyahu makes nuclear claims on Iran: "In case anyone in the hall hadn’t already been paying attention, he took the unusual step of brandishing visual aids — a poster-board map, then a poster-board photo, then another poster-board map." [AP]

— "A U.S. official... said the United States is aware of the facility Netanyahu announced and described it as a “warehouse” used to store “records and archives” from Iran’s nuclear program. A second U.S. intelligence official called Netanyahu’s comments “somewhat misleading. First, we have known about this facility for some time, and it’s full of file cabinets and paper, not aluminum tubes for centrifuges." [Reuters

Dennis Ross writes... "President Trump should go to President Putin and say unless you impose an agreed set of limits on what Iran can have militarily in Syria, where it can have it, and what it can and cannot bring to Syria and Lebanon, we will not only back continuing Israeli operations but may feel the need to do more in Syria ourselves." [NYDailyNews]

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — Israeli-Palestinian Divide Deepens, With No Sign of Compromise at U.N. — by Rick Gladstone: “Jerusalem is not for sale and the Palestinian people’s rights are not up for bargaining,” Mr. Abbas said in the opening of his [UNGA] speech... He said he had patiently awaited the American president’s peace plan, but was “shocked by decisions and actions he undertook that completely contradict the role and commitment of the United States towards the peace process.” [NYTimes

Trump's new position on two-state solution won't budge Israelis or Palestinians ― by Oren Liebermann: "Officials in the Trump administration have said their peace plan is almost finalized and Trump predicted the proposal would be put forward within two to four months. Many Israelis expect an election in that time frame, adding another delay into the plan. But Trump's open endorsement of a two-state solution doesn't seem to have changed its chances of success." [CNN

Architect of two-state solution doubts Trump can deliver Mideast peace — by F. Brinley Bruton: “What does he know? What did he do in life?” said Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli official who conducted secret talks that resulted in the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords... “It is tragic comedy. When I saw the leader of the free world say, ‘If my son-in-law cannot solve the Israel-Palestinian problem, nobody can do that,’ I didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh." [NBCNews]

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in an interview with Arutz 7"What [Trump] said (about two states) is very consistent to what he has been saying all along, meaning that whatever the parties agree to he will support... The reality is, the President has seen very little support on either side for a one-state solution, so I think his observations are correct. Ultimately, this is about an agreement, it's not about the form of the agreement, it's about what the agreement will be... I think people left, right, and center also want an end to the conflict. I haven't heard anyone say that they are disappointed with the President's observations." [Video

Money or not, world can’t drop Palestinian refugees, says UN — by Edith Lederer: "As [UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre] Krahenbuhl sat down for an interview with The Associated Press about the agency’s future on Thursday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly that UNRWA is critical to millions of his people but U.S. officials “just want to obliterate it altogether.” ... At a U.N. event Thursday hosted by UNRWA and Jordan, diplomats said Kuwait pledged $42 million and the European Union pledged 40 million euros to help Palestinian refugees this year." [AP]

HEARD YESTERDAY ― Mideast Envoy Jason Greenblatt at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), a conference of international donors for development assistance to the Palestinian people: "For decades we have sought ways to help the Palestinian people, but the Trump Administration will not reward provocations and violence. Insults and attacks directed at President Trump and members of the Administration will not help the Palestinian people. While some may be uncomfortable with our direct, frank message, the United States will continue speaking directly and frankly because we must tell the truth. We do this because we care about the Palestinian people and their future."

"We will not continue to invest in temporary solutions that only prolong the cycle of suffering and violence... I urge you all to join us in being direct and frank with the Palestinian Authority about charting a new, sustainable path – one that improves all Palestinian lives." [Transcript]

SIGHTING: Trump's Mideast peace representatives, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Loews Regency New York Hotel yesterday. [Pic

David Horovitz writes... "Abbas’s forlorn, inflexible ‘we made no mistakes’ speech sounds like a swan song: Some in his entourage had promised that Abbas would deliver a fiery address — full of bitter threats and furious promises. Instead, he left a door open to an American role in negotiations — having ruled out any such role in previous months... But the rhetoric was tired. Abbas, most deliberately, missed his moment years ago. He still won’t agree to terms Israel can live with it. His speech sounded like a swan song." [ToI

JARED INSIDER ― The inside story of Trump’s shambolic transition team ― from Michael Lewis' upcoming book titled The Fifth Risk"In June [2016, Chris] Christie received a call from Trump adviser Paul Manafort. “The kid is paranoid about you,” Manafort said. The kid was Jared Kushner... Christie viewed Kushner as one of those people who thinks that, because he is rich, he must also be smart. Still, he had a certain cunning about him. And Christie soon found himself reporting everything he did to prepare for a Trump administration to an “executive committee.” The committee consisted of Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, Manafort, Steve Mnuchin and Jeff Sessions." [TheGuardian; DailyBeast

House Intel Committee tees up release of Russia probe transcripts — by Kyle Cheney: "The House Intelligence Committee will vote Friday to publicly release dozens of transcripts of interviews... from Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks, Roger Stone and other longtime Trump allies and associates... At least two interviews the panel conducted of sitting lawmakers, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), do not appear on the list for public release." [Politico]

SCOTUS WATCH — The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh following dramatic and emotional testimonies from the nominee and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school. [CSPAN]

Facebook executive shows support for Kavanaugh at hearing for Trump Supreme Court nominee — by Jessica Guynn: "Joel Kaplan, Facebook's vice president of global public policy and a close friend of President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, sat prominently among Brett Kavanaugh's supporters during Thursday's politically explosive Senate hearing... The presence of a top Facebook executive was controversial inside the company among whisper networks of employees." [USAToday]

Professor Alan Dershowitz writes... "Postpone Kavanaugh confirmation until FBI can investigate accusations against him: In watching the riveting testimony of Professor Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh Thursday... I was reminded of the story of the old rabbi who gave advice to quarreling married couples. The wife began by complaining that her husband paid no attention to her, abused her, insulted her and demeaned her. After listening to her complaints the rabbi said: “My daughter, you are right.” Then the husband complained about his wife being a bad cook, insulting and overly critical. The rabbi said: “My son, you’re right.” The rabbi’s student assistant turned to him and said: “But rabbi, I don’t understand. They can’t possibly both be right!” To which the rabbi responded: “My student, you’re right too.” Is it possible that both Ford and Kavanaugh are truthfully stating what they honestly believe, but that one of them is honestly mistaken?" [FoxNews

Headline ― How to understand the Kavanaugh allegations, according to rabbis [JTA

2018 WATCH — DeSantis campaign seeks to tie Democratic FL gubernatorial candidate to anti-Semitism — by Marc Caputo: "Last night, people in Florida with Jewish surnames started getting texts that read: “BREAKING: Andrew Gillum’s Running Mate Claimed Jews ‘Nailed’ Him To ‘The Cross’: ‘Newly-unearthed comments made by Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum’s running mate raise serious concerns about Gillum’s ever-mounting ties to blatant anti-Semitism’.” They linked to a right-wing website detailing the controversy."

"The text messages come just a few days after a frustrated Ron DeSantis accused Gillum of having “anti-Semites around him.” ... Gillum’s campaign promptly criticized “the DeSantis’ campaign smear tactics.” The DeSantis campaign response: “We’re not sure what is of concern for Andrew Gillum, since these are his running mate’s own words.” [PlaybookFlorida]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Ori Allon's Compass nabs $400M, valuing the real estate technology startup at $4.4B [TechCrunch]  Gil Schwartz to Retire as CBS Communications Chief [Variety The death of once high-flying VC funds [TechCrunch]  Steve Wynn flaunts $215M super yacht at Monaco boat show [PageSix

Jewish Democratic group sues Sheldon Adelson for ‘legal sadism’ — by Ron Kampeas: "The lawsuit filed Tuesday in a federal court in New York by the National Jewish Democratic Council and its former chairman, Marc Stanley, charges [Adelson] with “legal sadism” for pursuing his lawsuit first launched in 2012, despite multiple losses in lower courts, until a federal appeals court threw it out last November... The lawsuit says that Adelson essentially ruined NJDC, driving away donors who were wary about being named in a lawsuit. Its then-director, David Harris, left the organization and politics because of the action. “Today, the NJDC exists only to recover its debt from litigation and pay its bills,” it says." [JTA

TALK OF THE TOWN — Brooklyn to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — by Jonathan Wolfe: "A group of elected officials, legal scholars and women’s rights advocates is beginning a campaign... to rename the Brooklyn Municipal Building in Downtown Brooklyn after Justice Ginsburg to recognize her accomplishments. “She has been a clear voice for women’s rights issues and human rights issues,” said Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president... Justice Ginsburg grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, during the Depression." [NYTimes

STATE-SIDE — Federal court blocks state law aimed at anti-Israel boycotts: "A U.S. District Court judge in Phoenix issued a preliminary junction Wednesday, saying the law enacted in March 2016 likely violates state contractors’ free speech rights under the First Amendment. The law requires any company that contracts with state or local government submit a written certification that it isn’t currently boycotting Israel and won’t do so." [AP]

Murphy to make 9-day trip to Germany and Israel — by Matt Arco: "[New Jersey] Gov. Phil Murphy will set off on a 9-day overseas business mission next month that includes a visit to Israel with stops in Tel Aviv and the holy city of Jerusalem... Murphy heads to Israel on Oct. 20, where he'll spend four days mixing cultural events with business roundtables and forums... Unlike recent governors, Murphy isn't traveling with a large entourage of staffers and members of the business community. Instead, he'll have a trimmed-down staff and some members of Choose New Jersey." [NJAdvance]

TRANSITION: Seth Mandel is joining the Washington Examiner as executive editor. Mandel was most recently the op-ed editor of the New York Post. h/t Playbook

SCENE YESTERDAY IN NYC Ronald Lauder, President of World Jewish Congress, received the Sheptysky Medal at the Ukrainian Art Institute on the Upper East Side. The annual award in memory of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptysky, spiritual leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church who saved 150 Jewish lives by hiding them from the Nazis — presented by Borys Lozhkin, President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine — is bestowed to individuals who have excelled at fostering and promoting Ukrainian-Jewish understanding and cooperation. [Pic

SPOTTED: Ukrainian Consul General Oleksii Holubov, Deputy Consul General of Israel Israel Nitzan, WJC's Robert Singer, Leon Chameidis, Izzy Tapoohi, Andrew Gross, James Temerty, Adrian Karatnycky, Inna Ioffe, Mark Botnick, and Daniel Rodomski. 

SPOTTED LAST NIGHT — at the annual Sukkot celebration hosted by Crown Heights community leader Chanina Sperlin in Brooklyn: Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan, Einat Dayan, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Marco Carrion, Israel Nitzan, Andrew Gross, Jason Koppel, Pinny Ringel, Zaki Tamir, Eli Cohen, Mark Appel, Eli Slavin, Jacob Goldstein, Ari Wiess, and Jesse Hamilton. [Pic

DESSERT — Charcoal Grill & Bar now open in Fairfax with kosher eats: "Located at 7563 Beverly Blvd. in Fairfax, the fresh addition is called Charcoal Grill & Bar. Billing itself as a "Taste of Jerusalem," this newcomer brings Israeli and Middle Eastern flavors to the streets of Los Angeles, YeahThatsKosher reports." [Hoodline]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: Sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein turns 88... International Emmy award winning Scottish television producer, Sir Jeremy Isaacs turns 86... Swiss-born Governor of Vermont (1985-1991) — the first Jewish woman to govern any state — she was also the US Ambassador to Switzerland (1996-1999), Madeleine May Kunin turns 85... Physician and theoretical biologist, a former MacArthur Fellow, Stuart Kauffman turns 79... Former President of Warner Home Video, consultant on digital media technology, and former trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, Warren Lieberfarb turns 75... Billionaire French businessman who, with his brother, own the controlling interest in the House of Chanel and a number of famous vineyards, Alain Wertheimer turns 70... Pediatrician and author of the book "Winning A Debate with An Israel Hater" about the fight against BDS, Dr. Michael Harris turns 60... New York Times-bestselling author Ben Greenman turns 49... Born in the Soviet Union, he moved to Los Angeles at age 14, winner of four Olympic gold medals for the USA in swimming in 2000 and 2004, Leonid "Lenny" Krayzelburg turns 43...

SATURDAY — Professor of physics emeritus at MIT, he is a 2017 Nobel Prize laureate in Physics, Rainer Weiss turns 86... CEO of Southern California-based LinQuest Corporation, an aerospace engineering firm, Leon Biederman Ph.D. turns 71... Director of Regional Affairs and Development at AIPAC, Brian Shankman turns 46... Former staff writer at the Jewish Journal, Aron Chilewich turns 27... Associate at DC-based S-3 Public Affairs, Shawn Pasternak turns 26... Film and television actress best known for her role in the ABC comedy "The Neighbors," Clara Mamet turns 24...

SUNDAY — Former Prime Minister of Israel (2006-2009) serving many terms in the Knesset including in various cabinet portfolios, former Mayor of Jerusalem (1993-2003), Ehud Olmert turns 73... Sanford Kadish turns 67... Allison Sommer turns 54... Member of the Knesset for the Likud party since 2009, he is currently responsible for three ministerial portfolios: Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information, Gilad Menashe Erdan turns 48... Lisa Robbins... Ari Shapiro, host of NPR’s All Things Considered, turns 40...