DEM DEBATE DAY AFTER: Sanders Doubles Down on Israel Criticism -- "I do believe that Israel was subjected to terrorist attacks, and has every right in the world to destroy terrorism. But we had in the Gaza area, some 10,000 civilians who were wounded and some 1,500 who were killed. Now, if you're asking not just me, but countries all over the world was that a disproportionate attack, the answer is that I believe it was," Sanders said during the debate, aired on CNN and NY1, five days before the New York presidential primary.
Sanders suggested that the United States was not critical enough of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Palestinian issue. "There comes a time when if we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time," the Jewish senator from Vermont said. "There will never be peace in that region unless the United States plays a role, an even-handed role trying to bring people together and recognizing the serious problems that exist among the Palestinian people."
He further accused Hillary Clinton of pandering to the pro-Israel community and not supporting the Palestinian people's right to independence. "I read Secretary Clinton's statement speech before AIPAC. I heard virtually no discussion at all about the needs of the Palestinian people. Almost none in that speech," he stated. "We cannot continue to be one-sided. There are two sides to the issue." [JewishInsider]
Hillary's response: "I can tell you right now I have been there with Israeli officials going back more than 25 years that they do not seek this kind of attacks. They do not invite the rockets raining down on their towns and villages. They do not believe that there should be a constant incitement by Hamas aided and abetted by Iran against Israel. I don't know how you run a country when you are under constant threat, terrorist tact, rockets coming at you. You have a right to defend yourself. And, let me say this, if Yasser Arafat had agreed with my husband at Camp David in the late 1990s to the offer then Prime Minister Barak put on the table, we would have had a Palestinian state for 15 years.”
Clinton noted she has had major disagreements with Netanyahu. “I have spoken about and written at some length the very candid conversations I’ve had with him and other Israeli leaders,” Clinton said. “Nobody is saying that any individual leader is always right, but it is a difficult position.”
POST DEBATE SPIN -- Sanders campaign memo: “Hillary Clinton ‘stayed away’ from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict according to Jeffrey Goldberg" -- The campaign quoted Goldberg on the Charlie Rose on 08/03/2013: “If Hillary Clinton had wanted to do this four years ago, she could have gotten the room to run with it, but for -- for whatever reason Hillary Clinton stayed away from this issue. I think she stayed away in part because in her analysis she wasn't going to succeed.”
Goldberg's humorous response: "I should never say anything on television." [Twitter]
TOP TWEETS -- BuzzFeed's Ben Smith: "Bernie is opening a lot of space for a generation of Democratic politicians, and maybe for Clinton, re Israel" [Twitter]
Ross Barkan: "I heard virtually no discussion at all about the needs of the Palestinian people," Sanders says. Paradigm shift for American politics?" [Twitter]
NBC's Mark Murray: "In that entire back-and-forth over Israel: Sanders was speaking to America's left. Clinton was speaking to New York." [Twitter]
Stuart Rothenberg: "Hillary is the AIPAC candidate. Bernie is the J-Street candidate. It isn't all that complicated." [Twitter]
Anthony Weiner: "I love Bernie but he doesn't understand that we are not equally supportive of Israel and Hamas." [Twitter]
David Axelrod: "Whether you agree with his position or not, no one can accuse Sanders of pandering in NY on Israel." [Twitter]
Aaron David Miller: "Amazing truly that the broken down peace process has consumed the biggest amount of the foreign policy debate tonight" [Twitter]
Yair Rosenberg: "Bernie said Hillary didn't speak up for Palestinian needs at AIPAC. Seems like he didn't actually read her speech" [Twitter]
Chemi Shalev: "Substantively, Sanders didn’t say much about Palestinians other than they needed to be treated with respect and dignity." [Twitter]
TOP TALKER: "Bernie Sanders Campaign Suspends Jewish Outreach Coordinator for Vulgar Remarks About Netanyahu" by Jason Horowitz: "On Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign suspended Ms. Zimmerman, 25, after revelations that she had used vulgarities in Facebook posts about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Hillary Clinton... A chorus of Jewish figures, including Abe Foxman, the president emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League, had joined Mr. Hoenlein in calling for Ms. Zimmerman’s firing." [NYTimes]
Alternative headline: "Bernie Sanders Suspends Staffer For Being As Tough On Israel As He Was In Last Night's Debate" [HuffPost]
Earlier in the day, Abe Foxman told us: “I am not a ‘right wing extremist’ in the words of ‘Jewish Friends of Bernie’, and I believe Bernie Sanders needs to fire Simone Zimmerman,” Foxman said in an email to Jewish Insider. “No amount of word changes can cure her ugly characterization of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Israeli army and people defending themselves.” [JewishInsider]
Vice News: "After news of Zimmerman's Facebook posts, which she later edited to remove swear words, became public, the former head of the Anti-Defamation League Abe Foxman called on Sanders to fire her. "I believe Bernie Sanders needs to fire Simone Zimmerman," he said in an email to Jewish Insider. "No amount of word changes can cure her ugly characterization of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Israeli army and people defending themselves." [Vice]
Sol Werdiger, Chairman of the Board of Agudath Israel of America, said in a statement: “I endorse Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Mrs. Clinton is by far the superior candidate in the Democratic primary on the issues that matter most to our community, both nationally and internationally."
HAPPENING TODAY: "Despite Timing, Bernie Sanders Says, Accepting Vatican Offer Was a Must" by Yamiche Alcindor: "Just hours after debating Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn, Mr. Sanders will travel to Vatican City on Friday morning to deliver a 10-minute speech at a conference hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences... “A picture with the pope would be worth a thousand words, but I’m not sure it’s worth a thousand votes,” Stu Loeser said." [NYTimes] "The Book of Bernie: What is Sanders' religion?" [CNN]
SCENE YESTERDAY -- at Trump Tower: Netanyahu’s statement repudiating his proposed plan to ban all Muslims entering the United States was disappointing, Republican presidential candidate DonaldTrump told Jewish Insider on Thursday. “He said something that wasn’t as positive as I would have liked, and I cancelled it,” Trump told Jewish Insider. “I did not particularly like his statement. I like him. I have always liked him, but I was disappointed in his statement. He didn’t say, ‘Don’t come.’ In fact, it was the opposite. But I didn’t like his statement. That wasn’t necessarily the reason I didn’t go, but I didn’t like his statement.”
Trump made the comments in an on-the-record meeting with representatives of Jewish news media outlets and community leaders on the 25th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan. He answered questions about Israeli settlements, the peace process, U.S. foreign aid and his relationship with the Jewish community. When asked about his views on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Trump deferred the question to his aide Jason Greenblatt, the chief legal officer at the Trump Organization. whom he said advises him on Israel-related issues. “Jason, how would you respond to that?” Trump said. Greenblatt said that he would certainly not call the “occupied territories.” [JewishInsider]
Meet Trump's Israel advisor: "Jason Greenblatt ’89YC Is No Apprentice: YU Alumnus Serves as Donald Trump’s General Counsel" [YU]
Twitter focused on this part of the meeting: "Trump also praised Lewandowski, his embattled campaign manager, who was arrested on battery charges following an incident at a Trump campaign event. Trump repeated his claim that Lewandowski had not touched Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. “I thought it was disgraceful,” Trump said, before asking Lewandowski if there were any updates on the case. “They just dropped all the charges,” Lewandowski said. “Oh, good,” Trump said. “Now tell my friends from, in some cases, Israel, how loyal was Mr. Trump to you?” “More than I could possibly fathom,” Lewandowski said. “I am so grateful.” “I’m proud of you, Corey,” Trump said, before turning back to the crowd to crack: “He wasn’t quite as effective for the past couple of months.” [Forward]
Trump began the meeting: "My daughter Ivanka sends you regards." [Twitter]
“Donald Trump’s Favorite Bible Teaching Is ‘Eye For An Eye’” by Andrew Kaczynski: “Is there a favorite Bible verse or Bible story that has informed your thinking or your character through life, sir?” asked host Bob Lonsberry on WHAM 1180 AM. Trump responded, “Well, I think many. I mean, when we get into the Bible, I think many, so many. And some people, look, an eye for an eye, you can almost say that. That’s not a particularly nice thing. But you know, if you look at what’s happening to our country, I mean, when you see what’s going on with our country, how people are taking advantage of us, and how they scoff at us and laugh at us. And they laugh at our face, and they’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our money, they’re taking the health of our country. And we have to be firm and have to be very strong. And we can learn a lot from the Bible, that I can tell you.” [BuzzFeed]
"Paul Ryan says he got an earful about Obama, Trump on his foreign trip" by Michael Crowley: "Asked if leaders in the countries he visited last week — Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia — had raised qualms about Trump, Ryan said: "Sure, I got it." Ryan said that Arab officials cited his condemnation in December of Trump's call for halting Muslim immigration into the U.S. "People over there knew about it and thanked me for doing it," Ryan said. "I didn't realize people paid this close attention to it."... "I can't tell you how often I heard about that Atlantic article," Ryan said. "It was quoted to me verbatim by heads of state.... It's rattled our allies." [Politico] "Paul Ryan: ‘I’m Not a Neocon’"[ForeignPolicy]
"At G.O.P. Dinner, Donald Trump Serves Heaping Helping of ‘New York Values’" by Jonathan Martin: "Donald J. Trump on Thursday used the last high-profile gathering of Republicans before Tuesday’s New York primary to extol “New York values,” repurposing Senator Ted Cruz’s attack on him into a tribute to what he described as his hometown’s virtues." [NYTimes; BuzzFeed] "In NY, Cruz Decries WH Boycott of Netanyahu’s ‘Positive’ Speech to Congress" [JewishInsider] Spotted: Ron Lauder, Bill Kristol, Nick Muzin, Herb London, Sean Hannity, Michael Steele...
Shmuley Boteach tweets: "Checking my schedule as @realDonaldTrump asks me what I'm doing over next four years. #notime2Bveep" [Twitter] Looks the camera app to us...
"New Jersey Billboards Hit Christie Over Trump Endorsement" by Philip Elliott: "Bridges Over Politics is organized under the tax code as a “social welfare” nonprofit, which means politics cannot be its main focus. Unlike super PACs, these nonprofit groups do not have to disclose their donors. But it’s worth noting that Bridges Over Politics is being run by Aaron Keyak, a Washington, D.C.–based Democratic operative and a former top aide to ex- Representative Steve Rothman of New Jersey." [Time]
ICYMI -- BDS, Inc. -- by Liel Leibovitz: "Some are arguing that organizations like StandWithUs are calling more attention than is necessary to a problem that can be solved more efficiently, modestly, and economically... Some critics are arguing that the tens of millions of dollars the Jewish community now spends fighting BDS, especially on college campuses, has become the BDS movement’s advertising budget, transforming a nasty and unimportant political cult into a heavyweight figure in an international debate."[TabletMag]
"Anti-BDS bill escapes legislative gridlock" by Jared Sichel: "In late March, when the Journal broke the story of the partisan battle over AB 1552 and Bloom’s plan to separately introduce a bill with the same language, Allen opposed what he said was a “very transparent play to gain credit.” Now, though, the Orange County Republican has agreed to be a principal coauthor on AB 2844 and applauds its passage in committee. “We’ve got a big bipartisan win on our hands,” Allen said Wednesday." [JewishJournal]
"Did Illinois Bungle First-in-Nation Anti-BDS Blacklist?" by Nathan Guttman: "On March 18, the board, which developed its list primarily through online Google searches and other public information, published a tally of 11 foreign-based companies. Under the new law, all state-owned Illinois pension funds are now prohibited from investing in these firms. But none of the companies listed was contacted beforehand. And research work behind the list seems sketchy, at best, leaving open questions regarding the definition of actions that could be viewed as adherence to BDS. Moreover, American companies identified as engaging in BDS were excluded from the list." [Forward]
ON THE HILL: More than 90 percent of the House urges Obama to reject biased UN moves on Israel: "The letter undersigned by 394 House Republicans and Democrats — more than 90 percent of the 435 representatives — was sent to Obama Thursday amid reports that the Palestinian Authority might revive a draft resolution against Israel’s policies in the West Bank, similar to the one vetoed in 2011 at the Security Council by the United States." [JTA]
Earlier on Thursday: "U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon that no decisions have been made yet about several draft resolutions being informally circulated in Turtle Bay, but that the administration is open to considering future drafts." [FreeBeacon]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: Elliot Cohen's Pharmacy Startup PillPack To Be Terminated By Express Scripts[Forbes] "Larry Ellison’s Private Eden Is Open for Business: When the tech billionaire bought Lanai, it made headlines. Now he’s at it again with the opening of Hawaii’s, if not the world’s, best new hotel resort." [Businessweek] "Tabak’s Princeton Holdings to test Israeli bond market" [RealDeal] "Locals complain of odor, illegal work on contaminated Trump shopping center" [BrooklynDaily] "Sumner Redstone Won't Testify in His Mental Competency Trial" [Fortune] "Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel invests in London art world" [FinancialTimes] "Oracle acquires Israeli big-data firm Crosswise for reported $50m" [ToI]
SPOTLIGHT: "The FBI isn't sure how hackers got into that San Bernardino iPhone" by Colin Daileda: "The FBI probably doesn't know how Israeli hackers got into a coveted iPhone 5c belonging to a San Bernardino, California extremist, and they may never find out... That group is private, meaning the FBI cannot compel them to submit their hacking technique to the government's Vulnerabilities Equities Process." [Mashable]
SCENE LAST NIGHT: JUF Chicago hosted their annual Standard Club Member Dinner featuring David Brooks at the Standard Club in downtown Chicago. Brooks discussed being drawn back into Judaism and talked about his son serving in the Golani unit of the Israeli army. On 2016, Brooks thinks Cruz is likely to win the nomination because he has the delegates. "People that sign up to be delegates tend to be more Cruz people than they are Trump people." Spotted: Israeli Consul Gen. Roey Gilad, Michael Oxman, Harry Seigle, Gita and Dr. Allan Berk, Bruce Taylor, Steve Nasatir, Lonnie Nasatir, Ben Halbig, Steve Franklin, Jon Levey, Jim Anixter, Amy Stoken, JUF Board Chair Bill Silverstein, Brian Price, and Andy Hochberg. H/T Alex Jakubowski
HEARD LAST NIGHT: Superlawyer Ben Brafman addresses 300 students, faculty and parents at Yeshiva University's Sy Syms School of Business annual awards gala at the Prince George Ballroom in NYC. Brafman cautioned students to be careful what they post on the internet as it could be used against them in court and spoke extensively about media bias against Israel. H/T Jacob Cohen.
Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: "At almost every dinner I host, there end up being many empty wine bottles strewn across the table. Usually asked cautiously, a frequent question is: "Do we have room for just one more bottle?" Inevitably the answer is affirmative. On a rare occasion, when trying to figure out which bottle to end on, I go with a dessert wine. This selection is not for everyone and I do not recommend many dessert wines. However, if you take the time to really examine one of my favorites, the Cheteau Piada, you will find the journey is well worth the while."
"The Chateau Piada Sauterne 2013 is one of the great kosher dessert wines. It is produced from Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis Cinerea, also known as noble rot. Although not immediately appealing, this fungus is beneficial to grapes. This nearly luminescent wine coats your tongue with honey. On the front of the palate you get an amazing explosion of apricot favors, and on the finish peaches and raisins. The combination of all of these tastes is hard to describe without actually tasting the wine. It can be overwhelming, however, once you drink a glass (actually half a glass is also fine) you will forever be bonded with this wine. This wine can be sampled now, but will also age well for decades. If you struggle with your sugar levels, be certain to take precautions before you drink it."[RoyalWine]
Princeton's Yitz Wine Tasting This Weekend: "It has been a century since Jewish students at Princeton University first gathered to celebrate the Sabbath, or Shabbat. It would have been unthinkable, in 1915, to imagine a four-day conference of lectures, panel discussions, religious services, and meals celebrating the University’s role in Jewish life. But that is just what “L’Chaim! To Life: Celebrating 100 Years of Jewish Life at Princeton,” intends to do this weekend. All alumni have been invited to this mega-conference on the campus, and some 650 had registered as of early last week." [TownTopics]
WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: New York State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder who is also the father of a newbaby boy this week... Democratic Congressman from California’s 28th District for 30 years, Howard Berman, turns 75... Duke University professor, physician, biochemist and Nobel Prize laureate, Robert Lefkowitz, turns 73... NYU professor Avital Ronell turns 74... Lindsey Rosenwald... Mordechai Ben David turns 65... Olympic track-and-field athlete, and survivor of the 1972 Munich massacre, Esther Roth-Shachamorov, turns 64... Actress Ellen Barkin turns 62... Dean of Harvard's Kennedy School and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, turns 54... Television producer David Kohan turns 52... NYU professor and noted legal scholar, Richard Allen Epstein, turns 73... Casey Tepper (yesterday)... Jon Fine (yesterday)...
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