Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: August 25, 2016

Hudson Institute to award Netanyahu | Aaron Miller looks to post-Obama era | Why does Bibi rejoice as Obama administration nears an end | Lapid stings Bibi on the diplomatic front

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in Jerusalem on August 15, 2016.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in Jerusalem on August 15, 2016. Credit: AP
JI Staff

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JI EXCLUSIVE -- Netanyahu to Receive Hudson Institute Award During Visit to NY: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the U.S.-Israel relationship and the challenges Israel faces in the Middle East at a dinner hosted by the Hudson Institute during his visit to New York next month.

Netanyahu will be presented with the conservative think tank's 2016 Herman Kahn Award at a gala dinner on September 22nd in Manhattan, according to an invitation obtained by Jewish Insider.

Rather than offering formal remarks, the Prime Minister will engage in a conversation with Roger Hertog, President of the Hertog Foundation and Chairman of The Tikvah Fund. Host committee members include Jack David, Ira and Ingeborg Rennert, Betsy and Walter Stern, and Paul Singer, among others.[JewishInsider

Flashback: Netanyahu was honored by the American Enterprise Institute in November 2015 [DailyKickoff]

Aaron David Miller tells us: “Netanyahu is looking past Obama to the next administration. In the next several months there is important unfinished business that he believes needs to get done: concluding the MOU, doing what he can to preempt some 11th hour move by the administration on the peace process that puts him in a tough spot, and keeping Iran as a front burner issue.

As for improving any relationship with the President, this has been the most dysfunctional relationship between a U.S. President and an Israeli Prime Minister arguably in the history of the US-Israeli relations, and in many areas one of the most unproductive too. Maybe they can avoid another blow-up but it's too late for any reset.” 

“Why Bibi is rejoicing as Obama's term nears end” by Ben Caspit: "Netanyahu was asked if he is worried about the possibility that Obama will take advantage of the period between the election and his leaving the White House to launch a new diplomatic initiative to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“Happy is the man who is always afraid,” said Netanyahu, referencing the Book of Proverbs (28:14), but he didn’t elucidate. He then treated his audience to his mode of operation with regard to the United States:

“Unlike China, for example,” Netanyahu said, “where the leader determines the agenda and everyone follows accordingly, the system that sets the American agenda is much more complicated. The president is not a one-man show."

"There is public opinion to contend with, there is Congress, and there is the media. Anyone who thinks that when dealing with America you only have to work with the president is wrong. You have to face the entire system. 

Netanyahu went on to present the journalists with Gallup poll results showing a steady rise in Israel’s standing and an increase in public support for Israel among the American public.

“While it is true that we have a problem on the campuses, overall support for Israel in the US has never been higher, and that is what really matters,” he asserted decisively.

“Israel is popular in the United States, and I’m popular in the United States too. If only I would be received in Tel Aviv the way I'm received in New York and Washington, and I’m not just talking about the Jews either.” [AlMonitor]

KAFE KNESSET -- Lapid Stings Bibi on the Diplomatic Front -- by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: 
Yair Lapid is using the news drought of late August -- during which the Knesset, the government and even the Prime Minister are taking a break -- to increasingly challenge Netanyahu on the diplomatic front.

After publishing an article on the US-Israel alliance in Foreign Policy this week, Lapid announced his plan to lead a demonstration in Stockholm next week, against the "anti-Israel currents" in the Scandinavian state. At the same time, one of the leading MKs from his party, Ofer Shelach, took a group of ambassadors and diplomats on a tour of Israel's northern border, presenting the security challenges coming from Syria and Lebanon.

Lapid hopes to create a public perception that he is filling a vacuum, created by Netanyahu's decision to hold the Foreign Ministry to himself instead of appointing a full-time Minister. Lapid has accused Netanyahu of weakening the important Ministry, and in so doing, hurting Israel's hasbara efforts across the world.

Netanyahu dismisses these accusations as politically driven nonsense, but Lapid keeps hitting harder and raising his profile on the issue. Israel is indeed a special country: one in which the opposition challenges the government by presenting the government's challenges and policies to foreign diplomats. 

"Why Obama Let Iran's Green Revolution Fail" by Eli Lake: "Obama wasn't just reluctant to show solidarity in 2009, he feared the demonstrations would sabotage his secret outreach to Iran. In his new book, "The Iran Wars," Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon uncovers new details on how far Obama went to avoid helping Iran's green movement.

Behind the scenes, Obama overruled advisers who wanted to do what America had done at similar transitions from dictatorship to democracy, and signal America's support." [BloombergView]

"Iran Vessels Harassed U.S. Destroyer Near Persian Gulf, Navy Says" by Paul Sonne: "The USS Nitze, an Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer, was transiting international waters near the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday when the four Iranian vessels approached at high speed and failed to respond to 12 separate radio communications, according to Cdr. William Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet." [WSJ]

Lawrence Korb & Michael Wackenreuter: "Side Deals like the $400 Million for Iran Are Just Part of Diplomacy" [PoliticoMag]

“Tony Blair Praises Clinton’s Work on Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks” by Jacob Kornbluh:“In an interview with Politico’s Glenn Thrush on his podcast “Off Message,” former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he has “huge regard” for Clinton’s work on the issue. “I worked very closely with Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state,” he said.  

“I was handling parts of the Middle East peace process at that time. And, you know, I’ve got a huge regard for her. I mean, I think she is an outstandingly capable and decent person. You know, I’ve worked with her really very closely over that, on very tricky issues, where the politics was extremely delicate, and where, you know, there were many different and contradictory currents,” Blair added.” [JewishInsider]

"In Israel's religious press, Hillary Clinton is invisible" by Daniella Cheslow: 
"Hillary Clinton may become the president of Israel's most important ally, but her image is banished from a significant swath of the country's media: the ultra-Orthodox press whose deeply conservative readership chafes at images of women. 

"For us there is no question. We will not publish pictures of women, period," said Meni Shwartz, editor of the ultra-Orthodox news site Behadrei Haredim." [AP]

“What turns many Jews away from Trump energizes his supporters” by Eitan Arom: “I like the idea that somebody fresh and new and a little bit vulgar is getting ahead,” said Culver City resident Leslie Fuhrer Friedman, who attends the Pacific Jewish Center on Venice Beach.

“Does he say uncouth things?” she said. “Of course. You know, he’s kind of like an Israeli in the Knesset. He’s a little rude.” Michael Mahgerefteh, 45, a Beverly Hills resident born in Tehran, said many Persian Jews fault the Obama administration for not projecting an air of strength that would help shield Israel from her enemies.

“A lot of us feel like Israel is our country, more than the U.S., or Iran even,” he said. “All the stuff that’s happened in the last seven or eight years, which I think Hillary will continue, is bad for Israel.”[JewishJournal]

“Trump campaign offices opened up across Israel” by Yoni Kempinski: “The Republican Party in Israel opened the first office of an American political party in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area Wednesday night.

The office, which will service the Gush Dan and Sharon regions, will be used for get out the vote operations and a campaign call center, work by campaign volunteers, and will act as a base of operations for the Israeli campaign’s leadership team.

Trump’s Israel operation already has offices in Jerusalem and Modiin, with a fourth location to be opened over the Green Line in Samaria.” [INN]

“Trump's Lawyers Had a Very Good Summer” by Russ Choma: “One firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torress & Friedman, which the campaign paid $69,000 in July, has long represented Trump's real estate interests and handled a defamation suit Trump filed in 2005 against a journalist who questioned his wealth. (The journalist won.) In April, a partner at the firm, David Friedman, was named an "Israel advisor" to the Trump campaign.” [MotherJones]

"AP’s Bombshell Clinton Foundation Report Comes Under Scrutiny" by Michael Calderone:"Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign fired back Wednesday after a major Associated Press report raised serious ethical questions over ties between the State Department under Clinton and her family’s charitable organization, with Clinton’s team arguing that the AP data was woefully out of context."[HuffPost]

Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon tweets: "Another "donor" who met with Hillary Clinton, according to AP: the late Elie Wiesel. This might be the most galling example yet." [Twitter]

"DNC staffers make fun of Jerry Nadler’s weight in leaked emails" by Marisa Schultz: "The petty mocking by DNC staffers comes as Nadler stuck his neck out for Obama, as New York City’s only Jewish Democratic House member to support the controversial Iran nuclear deal." [NYPost]

**Good Thursday 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**

PROFILE: "In just 12 years, the Facebook founder built an empire of 1.71 billion followers. His next goal: to friend the rest of humanity" by Dave Gershgorn: "Down the hall from Mark Zuckerberg’s desk sits a virtual reality studio. Foreign heads of state and other dignitaries have been known to lose themselves here in games of zero-gravity Ping-Pong and the real-seeming experience of firing virtual fireworks at each other.

Such are their number, and frequency, that on an early summer morning Zuckerberg is at a loss to remember—or perhaps too diplomatic to divulge—one of their names. He does, however, recall the anecdotal nugget of the man’s visit. 

“He wouldn’t leave,” says Zuckerberg, sitting in a glass-walled conference room in Facebook’s cavernous and almost factorylike headquarters in Menlo Park, California." [PopSci]

35 Innovators Under 35: "Why the future of communication could be on your wrist" by Peter Burrows: "Ari Roisman clearly covets human connection. Minutes after meeting me, the 32-year-old CEO of Glide gladly settles into a conversation about the role of Judaism in his life and how he gave up a promising career in clean energy to move to Jerusalem.

“My entire consciousness of this world is that it is a gift,” he says, intently. Since 2012, Roisman has been striving to create a more human alternative to text messaging. Rather than typing short messages on tiny smartphone keys, sometimes adding emojis in a desperate stab to impart nonverbal emotion, you can use Glide’s app to send video messages with a single button push." [MITTechReview]

LongRead: "Secrets of Super Siblings" by Charlotte Alter: "Nine families raised children who all went on to extraordinary success. Here’s what they have in common... The Emanuels would go on to become the stuff of legend and are often called the Jewish Kennedys: bioethicist Zeke is a vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania, a former Obama Administration official and one of the main architects of the Affordable Care Act; Rahm is the mayor of Chicago and a former chief of staff to President Obama; and Ari created William Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest talent agencies in Hollywood."

"Esther Wojcicki was having a pool party. Her husband Stan was chair of the physics department at Stanford, and they regularly hosted barbecues for students and their families. Their daughters Susan, Janet and Anne would interrogate the guests about theoretical physics when they weren’t busy passing hors d’oeuvres or throwing each other in the pool. 

Susan is now the CEO of YouTube, Janet is a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco, and Anne is a co-founder and the CEO of genetics company 23andMe." [TimeMag]

TALK OF OUR NATION: "Dwindling Amazon Jewish community keeps faith despite religious exodus" by Ryan Schuessler: "On a humid Friday night, the last Jews of Iquitos gather in the back room of a mattress shop to worship in a language few of them even understand. 

Iquitos – the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road – is home to one of the last Jewish communities in the Amazon basin, but that may not be true for much longer: a modern exodus to Israel has seen the city’s Jewish population drop by more than 80% in the past decade." [TheGuardian]

CAMPUS BEAT -- Maccabee Task Force Executive Director David Brog emails... "Earlier this week a surprising report surfaced in the media that a modest grant approved by the Maccabee Task Force to the David Horowitz Freedom Center had been used to fund a poster campaign that targeted student activists.

The Maccabee Task Force never authorized or approved such a poster campaign. And the David Horowitz Freedom Center has since confirmed that it never used our funds for this campaign. In short, the newspaper report was completely false." 

BIRTHDAYS: Adam Friedman... Gene Simmons... Carina Grossman... Robert Cohen... Award winning British novelist who has been described as the "Jewish Jane Austen," Howard Jacobson turns 74... Founder of Mosaic H+H Advisors, Harley Mayersohn... Immediate Past Board Chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Lorin Fife... Jackie Rotman... Leni Reiss... 

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