Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: April 13, 2016

Bono wants to send powerful Jews to ISIS | Kasich lectures to Yeshiva students | Bernie's anti-establishment Jewish outreach director

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man takes a selfie with Republican presidential candidate John Kasich in Brooklyn, New York, April 12, 2016.
Eduardo Munoz, Reuters
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'Shem Tov' -- Wall Street Journal's Kate Betts asks hotelier Ben Weprin where the best business advice he's ever received came from: "Sam Zell, who told me the most important thing is Shem Tov, which means your name and your integrity. Make all your decisions upon protecting those." [WSJ]

SCENE YESTERDAY: "John Kasich Discusses Bible, Jewish Traditions During Brooklyn Visit" by Jacob Kornbluh: Accompanied by Ezra Friedlander, a Democratic strategist, Kasich visited Eichler’s Judaica in Borough Park, where he was shown a silver-plated Seder tray, a matzah cover, and a Passover Haggadah. Kasich was amused to learn about the afikoman. As Friedlander described how the children “steal” the middle matzah and ask for a reward for its return, Kasich walked away astonished and mumbled, “pass-over."

The Ohio governor and Friedlander also got into a debate over who is the most admired person in the Torah. “I would say, Moses,” Friedlander said. “What about Abraham? What happened to Abraham?” Kasich asked. To which Friedlander explained that the story of the Jewish people accepting the Torah from God started when they left Egypt led by Moses. “What are you talking about? Get outta here,” Kasich dismissed the explanation. “The story of the people are Abraham – when God made a covenant with Abraham, not Moses."

Kasich also bumped into a group of local yeshiva students who learn overseas. “What are you studying?” he asked. “Talmud,” one student replied. “Okay, but what are you learning now?” Kasich pressed. “Shabbat laws,” they said. “Do you know who I like? Joseph,” Kasich started lecturing them. “You study Joseph? What do you think about Joseph? Did you hear what was the most important thing Joseph said to his brothers? ‘My brothers, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.’ Did you know that? He may have been a little bit of a bragger. A little bit. Maybe. But they threw him in that ditch, they saved him and then sold him to slavery. And that’s how the Jews got to Egypt. Did you know that?” “Yes,” they responded politely. [JewishInsider; Haaretz] Watch Kasich talk Joseph [YouTube]

HEARD LAST NIGHT ON CNN's Trump Town Hall -- Columbia University student Joseph Cohen asked Ivanka Trump: "I was wondering, how did your father react to your decision to convert to Judaism - what led you to that decision, and how did he react?"

Ivanka: "Well, on such a personal decision, I tend not to talk about it in a public forum. But my father was very supportive. He knows me, and he trusts my judgement. When I make decisions, I make them in a well-reasoned way. I don't rush into things. I appreciate the support he gave me because, obviously, these decisions are not taken lightly, and it would have been much more hard if I had had headwinds. He believes in me, he loves my husband; they are incredibly close, which was obviously helpful, and he has been very supportive with me in that decision as in many others I have taken throughout the years."

FIRST LOOK: Cruz on how he grew up to become an ardent supporter of Israel in an interview with Hamodia’s Yochonon Donn: “I have been blessed to spend a great deal of time in the Jewish community. Growing up in Houston, I attended an elementary school that had been founded by a number of Jewish doctors, and the elementary school I went to was about 50 percent Jewish. And so as a kid, I assumed that the world was 50 percent Jewish, because half the people I knew were Jewish, and many of my closest friends were."

"And I will say, one seminal event that impacted me as a child was the Entebbe raid. I was a young boy at the time. What the Entebbe raid said to me was, if you’re a terrorist, you may capture an Israeli. And the Israeli you capture may lose his or her life. But you are going to die. We are going to do whatever is necessary to defend ourselves, to defend our nation. And I have to say, as a Texan, that struck me as a very Texan approach to it. I have for a long time wished that American foreign policy could resemble the strength of Israeli foreign policy, the clarity of Israeli foreign policy, far more Israel was, by design, a haven, a safe haven, a Jewish state where, in the wake of the Holocaust, “Never Again” could mean precisely that; that there would always be a Jewish homeland that would protect the Jewish people.” The full interview is in today’s Hamodia available on local newsstands. 

Kasich in an interview with the NY Daily News: “I'm for Israel. Period. End of story. Give them the superiority they need. And I think every single day, try to get through the day. I don't think there's any silver bullet for peace. A two-state solution, if they can work it out amongst themselves, fine. But I'm not an optimist on permanent peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. I haven't changed anything, folks. Nothing, okay, on any of my positions. I can change, if you point something out. I'm willing to take a look at it. You raised some issues here today I'll have to check out, okay. But in terms of Israel, I had a friend who told me one time, cause I was saying, "We're gonna have peace." He says, "John, stability is what we want there." I happen to agree with that. I think the Israelis have to have the superiority in weapons, and it's a very, it's just an impossible situation.” 

New York Daily News: “The Obama administration has made a significant issue about the settlements, if you will. What is your view on that?”

Kasich: “If I had something to say to Netanyahu about settlements, I would say it where there was no cameras or tape recorders. Okay?” [DailyNews]

New York Daily News endorses Hillary in the NY primary: “Similarly at sea on foreign affairs, Sanders asserted that Israel had killed 10,000 civilian Palestinians in a 2014 military operation — more than five times the true number.” [DailyNews]

“All in the family: New York Observer endorses Trump” by Hadas Gold: “The New York Observer editorial board on Tuesday endorsed Donald Trump in the New York Republican primary. The paper is owned by Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump. "Donald Trump is the father-in-law of the Observer’s publisher. That is not a reason to endorse him. Giving millions of disillusioned Americans a renewed sense of purpose and opportunity is," the editorial reads.” [Politico]

TOP TALKER: “Sanders campaign’s new Jewish outreach director is outspoken critic of Israeli occupation” by Uriel Heilman: “Simone Zimmerman, the Bernie Sanders campaign’s newly hired national Jewish outreach coordinator, is quite familiar with the American Jewish establishment. She is used to fighting against it. She opposes Israel’s occupation, wants Hillel to allow participation by groups that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, is against Jewish federation funding for Israeli projects in the West Bank and wrote favorably of the efforts of Jewish Voice for Peace, a pro-BDS group, to get “international corporations to stop profiting off human rights abuses.” [JTA]

--Zimmerman tweeted a picture at the December at the HaaretzQ Conference:
"How Ayman and Saeb are feeling about Samantha Powers droning on about US defense of Israel at UN #awkward" [Twitter]

“Top Trump Aide Paul Manafort Lobbied for Saudis Against Embassy Move To Jerusalem” by Tim Mak: “Paul Manafort, the aide dubbed Trump’s ‘new right-hand man’ and his point-person on delegate strategy at the coming Republican convention, worked the corridors of power in Washington for the Saudi government in the 1980s. The promise of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem has been a mainstay of political appeals to the pro-Israel community for many years. But in 1984 Manafort lobbied on behalf of the Saudis against House and Senate legislation that would have pressed the U.S. government to make this move, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act disclosure.” [DailyBeast]

Hillary Clinton touts role on Iran sanctions regime in meeting with the Philadelphia Inquirer: “When I became secretary of state, I was very clear that under the Bush administration, the Iranians had mastered the nuclear fuel cycles. They had build facilities and stacked them with centrifuges. And they were whirling away towards a nuclear weapon. And all of the sanctions that I had voted for when I was in the Senate for eight years had not disrupted that. And therefore I said, look, we have to face a very hard choice... So I went to work to put together an international coalition to impose sanctions on Iran that could do what America alone was unable to do. And I was successful in that. It included Russia and China and then I spent about a year and a half traveling the world to enforce them. And at the end of it, I started the negotiations that were completed by Secretary Kerry for the agreement. But I also made it clear that we've got to enforce it... If the Iranians violate even a lesser provision, there needs to be consequences.” [PhillyInquirer]

“Jewish Members of the NYC Council Endorse Hillary for President” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Hillary Clinton has delivered time and time again for New York, for the Jewish Community, and for Israel,” Councilman Mark Levine, Chairman of the Jewish Caucus, said in a statement. Councilman David Greenfield, representing one of the largest Orthodox Jewish districts in the United States, said that Clinton is the “strongest pro-Israel Democratic candidate for President, and has a proven record of working with New York’s Jewish community since her days as our U.S. Senator.” Greenfield blasted Sanders over his recent comments on Israel, saying he has “made it clear that he doesn’t value the pro-Israel community.” [JewishInsider]

Alan Dershowitz on teaching Ted Cruz at Harvard Law School: "He came into my class, literally his first day in law school with his right hand up – not his left hand, his right hand, and everything I said he challenged me. He was one of the best students I ever had because a teacher loves to be challenged. Everything I said he was against. I was against the death penalty, he's in favor. I was in favor of the exclusionary rule, he's against it. And he made such brilliant arguments that I never had to play the devil's advocate. He was there." [FoxNews]
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: "Google Announces $700,000 Grant to ‘Tikkun Olam Makers’" [EJP] "Leonard Lauder isn’t above picking up trash at his museum" [NYPost] "Report: CIA Intermediaries, Spies From Around the World Used Mossack Fonseca's Services" [Haaretz] "Jehovah’s Witnesses’ lock down deal with Jared Kushner, Aby Rosen and LVWRK for $700M Brooklyn plot" [NYPost] "Year-Old Email Raises Questions About Sumner Redstone’s Condition" [WSJ]

"The Night George Soros Stood In For Nobelist Holocaust Survivor Imre Kertesz" by Masha Leon: "The news that Hungarian Holocaust survivor and 2002 Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz died at 86... brought back the memory of the May 13, 2003 YIVO Institute for Jewish Research benefit dinner at which Kertesz was to be an honoree... Departing from his scripted role as “award presenter” to Kertesz, fellow Hungarian Holocaust survivor billionaire George Soros shocked the assemblage with a rant about victims of violence and abuse becoming “perpetrators of violence,” suggesting that this model applies to the Israelis vis-à-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were walkouts and loud booing that drowned out a sprinkling of applause. A few days later, a fuming Elie Wiesel told me: “I heard what happened. If I’d been there—and you can quote me—I would have walked out.” [Forward]

TALK OF THE TOWN: "Two Jewish groups condemn ‘disrespect’ at Newton forum" by Ellen Ishkanian: "Leaders of two Jewish organizations on Monday condemned the behavior of a group of activists at a community meeting in Newton last week, saying the struggle against anti-Semitism must be part of a larger effort to build “respectful tolerant communities.” [BostonGlobe]

CAMPUS BEAT: "CUNY, NYU grapple with student proposals to condemn Israel" by Conor Skelding:
"City University chancellor James Milliken says he is opposed to a resolution that would endorse an academic boycott of Israel under consideration by the student government at CUNY's graduate school. The Doctoral Students’ Council will vote on the resolution on Friday. It is expected to pass." [PoliticoNY]

HOLLYWOOD: "Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance Team Up for Another New Film" by Ellen Gamerman: "“If you want my son, you’ll have to kill me first!” This sentence is so packed with drama it’s no wonder Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg just committed to directing a movie version of the book that delivered it... The book tells the true story of a Jewish six-year-old in 1858 Bologna who was pulled from his home by papal police and separated from his family to be raised as a Christian." [WSJ]

"Bono Wants to Send Some Powerful Jews to ISIS" by Ashley Feinberg: "The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee brought in sentient sunglasses display Bono to discuss what role foreign aid should play in stopping violent extremism. Instead, Bono recommended sending two powerful Jews and Chris Rock directly into ISIS’s clutches. "And the first people that Adolf Hitler threw out of Germany were the Dadaists and surrealists. You speak violence. You speak their language. But you laugh at them when they’re goose-stepping down the street, and it takes away their power. So I’m suggesting that the Senate send in Amy Schumer and Chris Rock and Sacha Baron Cohen. Thank you."" [Gawker]

SCENE LAST NIGHT -- by a JI reader: "The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles held its fourth annual Community Leaders Seder at the historic Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights. The Seder was led by Rabbi Noah Farkas of Valley Beth Shalom and Jewish Federation Board Member Jesse Gabriel. The diverse group of participants included Mayor Eric Garcetti, Israeli Consul General David Siegel, California Treasurer (and likely candidate for California Governor) John Chiang, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, former LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, City Councilmember Paul Koretz, City Councilmember David Ryu, Federation Board Chair Julie Platt, Federation President & CEO Jay Sanderson, Daniel Gryczman, Catherine Schneider, Cece Feiler, Gabriel Eshaghian, Guy Lipa, Eve Kurtin, and many other leaders and activists. Highlights of the evening included the Mayor embracing Persian tradition and whipping those seated next to him with scallions during Dayenu and City Controller Ron Galperin singing the Song of the Partisans in Yiddish, English, and Spanish." Video of Galperin singing [Instagram]

DESSERT: "There’s a babka ice cream sandwich at Nationals Park, and it’s dreamy" by Bonnie S. Benwick: "The dreamy frozen treat is the brainchild of On Rye's Ilyse Fishman Lerner, 30, a former attorney who attended the Institute of Culinary Education (in restaurant management) and has worked in the industry -- including a host gig from 2013 to 2014 at Per Se in New York. She'd been looking for a way to "translate babka to summer," freezing the coffee-cake-like bread from Green's & Ackerman's Bakery in Brooklyn in different ways to see how it would hold... Her family connection garnered no prime spot; Ilyse's husband and On Rye co-owner, Jonathan, is indeed a grandson of Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner." [WashPost]

"Loathe Gefilte Fish? Not After You’ve Tried This" by Joan Nathan: "Growing up, I never liked gefilte fish... Then I met my husband, Allan, whose Polish-born mother made real gefilte fish, which had the immediate taste and texture of authenticity. The bottled stuff seemed sweet and gelatinous and artificial by comparison. And so for the last 40 years, I have carried on my mother-in-law’s tradition of making gefilte fish from scratch." [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Max Weinberg, the longtime drummer for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and father of ABC News reporter Ali Weinberg, turns 65... Barbara Roche (née Margolis) a Member of Parliament from 1992 until 2005, turns 62 (she served as the UK's first ever Minister of State for Asylum and Immigration under Tony Blair)... Glenn Dubin turns 59... Pacifica Radio's investigative journalist Amy Goodman turns 59... Film director and choreographer, Stanley Donen, famous for “Singin' in the Rain,” turns 92... Ian Hersh, ICC's Director of Operations (h/t Keyak)... Curator and then director of the Louvre, Pierre Rosenberg, son-law of Alain de Rothschild, turns 80... Guitarist and founding member of the rock group “Staind,” Aaron Lewis turns 44... Actor Ron Perlman, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Vincent in the television series "Beauty and the Beast," turns 66... Geneticist and Nobel Prize laureate, Michael Stuart Brown, turns 75... Helene Cash...
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