Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: August 08, 2016

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Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, June 18, 2016.
Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, June 18, 2016.Credit: David Becker, Reuters
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TRENDS: "Israel consults Arab powers in diplomacy push" by John Reed & Heba Saleh:"Amid mounting concerns among Sunni Muslim nations about Iran’s influence, particularly in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Israel is discreetly consulting on security with Arab powers, including those with whom it has no formal relations. “The Sunni Arab states increasingly see the Middle East through the same prism as Israel,” Dore Gold, Israel’s acting foreign minister, told the Financial Times. “We have our differences — let us be clear — but we face very similar problems,” he said." [FinancialTimes]

“Defense Ministry Statement on Iran Deal Caught Netanyahu by Surprise, Aide Tells U.S. Envoy” by Barak Ravid: “Netanyahu learned about the Defense Ministry statement that criticized U.S. President Barack Obama from the media, his aide told U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on Friday. Haaretz has learned that a senior aide to Netanyahu called Shapiro on Friday night and told him that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman did not coordinate the statement with the prime minister and did not brief him on it. The aide told Shapiro that Netanyahu was surprised to learn about the remarks from the media, and mentioned the statement the prime minister's bureau released shortly after.” [Haaretz]

Israel minister admits Iran has respected nuclear deal: “Israel's energy minister on Sundaycriticised a landmark nuclear accord between the Jewish state's arch-foe Iran and world powers but said Tehran had so far respected the deal. "It's a bad deal but it's an accomplished fact and during the first year we spotted no significant breach from the Iranians," said Yuval Steinitz, who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "But it's still too early to conclude that this 12-year deal is a success," he told public radio.” [France24]

"Why the President Needs a Council of Historians" by Graham Allison & Niall Ferguson:
"The council might study whether a former president’s handling of another crisis could be applied to a current challenge (what would X have done?). Consider Obama’s decision to strike an imperfect deal to halt or at least delay Iran’s nuclear program, rather than bombing its uranium-enrichment plants, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoped he might. Obama’s deliberations have significant parallels with Kennedy’s decision during the Cuban missile crisis to strike a deal with Nikita Khrushchev, rather than invading Cuba or learning to live with Soviet missiles off Florida’s coast." [TheAtlantic]

LongRead: "How an Iranian’s Spy Saga Ends, 6 Years Later: He’s Executed" by David Sanger: "The American, Israeli and European search to understand the scope of Iran’s nuclear program — an intelligence effort that continues to this day — has taken many bizarre turns that have already become the stuff of books and film. And the drama of Mr. Amiri’s apparent double defection came in a summer of espionage efforts against Iran gone wrong. But few stories were as confusing, and at moments heart-rending, as Mr. Amiri’s. Among the side players was Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, who said as Mr. Amiri was returning to Iran: “He’s free to go. He was free to come. Those decisions are his alone to make.”" [NYTimes]

“Would Hillary keep John Kerry on?” by Michael Crowley: “Her senior advisor, Jake Sullivan, has recently wooed anti-Trump Republicans by telling them Clinton hopes to restore bipartisan consensus around foreign policy issues like Iran and Israel. Many Republicans see Kerry, a former Democratic Senator and presidential nominee, as more of a politician than a diplomat Clinton might also turn to another senior State Department colleague: Wendy Sherman, who served as under secretary of state for political affairs until last summer But she has few fans among Republican critics of the nuclear deal. Tapping Sherman could mean a tough Senate confirmation process—particularly if Democrats fail to win back the Senate in November.” [Politico]

Kaine on Meet the Press re: Iran cash payment: “This arrangement, the settlement of a claim with Iran, the payment of a portion of that settlement, hostages coming home, thank God, this was briefed to Congress and the American public months ago. The only thing new this week, the only thing new, is Donald Trump's claiming to have seen a nonexistent video of cash being delivered to the Iranians... But look, you have two important issues. The first one is there was a legitimate claim against the United States. The United States bargained it down to a fraction. We're making claims in international tribunals, and we're having claims made against us all the time. We bargain it down to a fraction and paid a portion of the claim. And we got hostages home. Both of those things are appropriate. And I understand why Trump's trying to make something out of it. But there's just no 'there' there.” [NBCNews]

"Kaine, in Split with Clinton, Says Islamic State Airstrikes Lack Legal Authority" by Michael Phillips and Paul Sonne: "Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine said he didn’t believe the U.S. had legal authority to carry out airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Libya this week, underscoring differences over the issue with his running mate, Hillary Clinton. In contrast with Mr. Kaine, when Mrs. Clinton was asked during a Democratic debate in November whether she believed the 2001 authorization covers the fight against Islamic State, she answered: “It certainly does.”" [WSJ]

“Can Clinton corner Condi, Kissinger?” by Nahal Toosi: “Condoleezza Rice, James Baker, George Shultz and Henry Kissinger are among a handful of so-called Republican “elders” with foreign policy and national security experience — people who have held Cabinet-level or otherwise high-ranking positions in past administrations — who have yet to come out for or against Trump. A person close to Clinton said her team has sent out feelers to the GOP elders, although it wasn't clear if those efforts were preliminary or more formal requests for endorsement, or if they were undertaken through intermediaries. “I think it is terribly disappointing,” said Robert Kagan, a prominent historian often described as a a neoconservative. “They are some of the most respected people in the country, as well as in the party, and their words would carry real weight. For them to sit this crisis out is, to me, a real abdication of responsibility.”" [Politico]

"Anti-Trump Republican Launching Independent Presidential Bid" by McKay Coppins: "Key players in the GOP’s anti-Trump movement are preparing to launch an independent presidential campaign for Evan McMullin — a CIA veteran and the chief policy director of the House Republican conference — sources close to the effort told BuzzFeed News." [BuzzFeed]

Republican Martin Sweet on whether he'd support McMullin: "Too soon to tell. But Trump is a non-starter and while Hillary is theoretically okay on her own - tough to vote to empower the Obama anti-Bibi machine again."

“Donald Trump’s Allies Battle for Favor of G.O.P. Givers He Mocked” by Nicholas Confessore: “Carl Icahn was late, but he still had something to say. Wedging himself around a table crowded with Republican donors at a Hamptons beach house, he jumped in as Senator Mitch McConnell described how important it was to hold on to the Senate this fall. It was important to help Republicans hold the Senate, Mr. Icahn told the room. But they were kidding themselves if they thought they could leave Donald J. Trump twisting in the wind. “We have to get behind Trump,” Mr. Icahn said, according to two people who attended the event, held shortly after the Republican convention in Cleveland. “We all have to come together.”” [NYTimes]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: The head of Bloomberg's $150 million VC fund Roy Bahat explains the formula for finding a top AI startup [BusinessInsider]  The Founder of The Information Jessica Lessin on What Media Companies Are Doing Wrong [Fortune]  Gawker, Hulk Hogan in Settlement Talks Over Invasion-of-Privacy Case: Talks come ahead of auction that will see Gawker founder Nick Denton lose control of the company he founded [WSJ

TALK OF THE TOWN: "Source: Jared Kushner's Cousin Might Run Against Donald Trump Jr. in 2017 NYC Mayoral Election" by Brendan O'Connor: "Jon Kushner, cousin to Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, is considering a run for New York City mayor, a person familiar with the young businessman’s thinking told Gawker. “He’s always had political ambitions, but he’s not an asshole,” the person said. “They’re the good Kushners.” Earlier this week, over dinner at 2nd Avenue Deli, Kushner, 38, and a group of college friends discussed his mayoral prospects. “He wants to be mayor. It’s his dream. It’s a fantasy of his. His only reservation is that he’s still too young,” the person said." [Gawker]

TALK OF OUR NATION: "How a Temple Mount Troublemaker Became an Advocate for Liberal Jews in Israel’s Knesset" by Judy Maltz: "The survivor of an assassination attempt by a Palestinian gunman almost two years ago, Yehuda Glick is an enigma of sorts. On the one hand, his battle to gain Jews free movement and equal prayer rights on the Temple Mount, one of the most volatile spots on earth, has earned him a reputation as a dangerous right-wing fanatic. On the other hand, on matters of religion and state, more often than not he finds himself siding with progressives in the center-left opposition."

"He doesn’t see this as a contradiction. To the contrary, Glick says, the same logic that guides his position on the Temple Mount caused him to lash out against the ultra-Orthodox in the Mikveh Law debate. “People call me a zealot, and the truth is that I am an extreme fanatical zealot,” he says. “I’m an extreme fanatical zealot when it comes to supporting people’s rights to live differently, to behave differently and to think differently.”" [Haaretz]

KAFE KNESSET -- Likud in the Shadows -- by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The talk of the town has been the "dark shadow" cast over the Likud party by the latest star member to join its ranks, Yoav Eliasi, a notorious rapper who goes by the stage name "The Shadow." In recent years, Eliasi has railed against Arab Israelis, left-wingers, and journalists to an audience of 200,000 Facebook followers. Last week, Eliasi joined the Likud, with strong encouragement from the party's chief troublemaker, MK Oren Hazan, himself a highly controversial figure. Eliasi declared that he wants to bring the Likud back to its core values: "Once, Likud was a right-wing party," the rapper explained. "Today it is a zig-zagging party, you can't tell right from left, and what the ideology is." 

Likud heavyweights have come out publicly against Eliasi, stating that extremists like him should not be accepted into the party. "The Shadow" wasn't shy in hitting back. The first to come under fire was MK Benny Begin, the son of founding father and former Prime Minister Menachem Begin. "Who is he to preach to me? His daughter converted to Islam and his son throws rocks at IDF soldiers," Eliasi retorted. (For the record: Begin's daughter did not convert to Islam, and while he does have one son who is a radical left-wing activist, Begin is also a bereaved father - his son Yonatan was an IDF combat pilot who died on duty in the year 2000.) 

The rapper's next target was Likud Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who called on the party's director general to deny Eliasi's registration, because his views are too far-right for the party. Hanegbi warned that his acceptance would cause "severe damage to the party." Eliasi, of course, responded, accusing Hanegbi of fascism and noting that Hanegbi himself has been convicted of criminal felonies in the past. “It amazes me that a minister who was convicted of a crime is scolding me,” he said Eliasi and his supporters are confident that when the new rapper officially becomes a party member, his Facebook stardom will be a boost for Likud with young voters. For months now, political pundits have been looking for the Israeli equivalent of Donald Trump...with Eliasi, he might have arrived.

BOOK REVIEW: "The Phone Call That Saved Israel" by Matti Friedman: "The man on the phone, Ashraf Marwan, was an official at the pinnacle of the Egyptian regime, an aide to President Anwar Sadat and the son-in-law of the late, revered leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. He was also a spy for Israel—one whose appearance was the kind of thing “that happens only once in a thousand years,” according to one of the Israeli consumers of his secret reports. The murky man in question, the nature of the game he was playing and the series of events that culminated with his fateful phone call on the eve of the Yom Kippur War, are the subjects of Uri Bar-Joseph’s eye-opening book, “The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel.”... One wonders if Israel’s belief in angels ultimately helped anyone see more clearly in 1973."[WSJ]

SPORTS BLINK: "Gymnast Aly Raisman is one of top Jewish athletes to watch" by Emily McFarlan Miller: "Raisman, who grew up in a Reform Jewish home, won gold for her floor exercise, performed to the Israeli folk song “Hava Nagila,” during games that coincided with the 40th anniversary of the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Munich Games." [RNS]

DESSERT: "Rubin’s may not have served its last knish" by Laura Crimaldi: "Rumors that Rubin’s Kosher Delicatessen has served its last hot pastrami sandwich may be premature. Many longtime customers went to the landmark kosher deli Friday thinking it was their last chance to eat the kugel, potato knishes, and corned beef that Rubin’s has been serving for nearly 90 years. “Priorities in your life change,” the 53-year-old owner Allen Gellerman said. “I don’t want it on my gravestone: ‘He made a great corned beef sandwich.’ ” But people who keep kosher, take heart. Gellerman has sold the deli to an investor who says keeping Rubin’s open is part of his family’s plan to help the Jewish community in Greater Boston."[BostonGlobeBostonHerald]

"Your hipster Jewish deli dreams just came true at Mamaleh’s" by Devra First: "Overheard vociferous food-related debate: bagels vs. bialys, the best methods for smoking fish, what a proper celery tonic should taste like. “This one is too earnest,” someone says, sipping the house take. “It tastes too much like actual celery. Dr. Brown’s is better.” “The bialy is light and fluffy,” another guest enthuses. “Well it shouldn’t be,” declares a grump. “It takes guts to open this place,” declares a diner about to bite into an overflowing bagel. “We Jews have opinions about food!” A man with a long beard passes by. “It’s like a Williamsburg parlor game,” someone whispers. “Hipster or Hasid?”" [BostonGlobe]

"A Rabbi Who Keeps Things Kosher at Manischewitz" by Rabbi Aron Yonah Hayum as told to Patricia Olsen: "Q. What do you do at Manischewitz? A. I certify that the products are kosher, or adhere to Jewish law. All ingredients must be kosher, and the equipment must be kosher. If nonkosher food is cooked in a utensil, the utensil must be kashered, or rendered kosher again, by using boiling water or direct steam or flame." [NYTimes]

"Traditional Jewish cuisine cleverly reinvented in Buenos Aires" by Cynthia Rosenfeld:"Friday, I had been told, is the night to dine at Mishiguene, an eatery in the perennially cool Palermo district serving “gourmet Jewish food” – accompanied on the Sabbath by live klezmer music, an Ashkenazi Jewish cultural tradition. The work of 36-year-old Argentine chef Tomás Kalika, who spent several years cooking at restaurants in Jerusalem and mining his Jewish grandmother’s recipes. Kalika and his business partner Javier Ickowicz named their restaurant after the Yiddish word for someone who is crazy or foolish." [FinancialTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Professor Emerita at the Graduate School of the City University of New York and mother of Bill Kristol, Gertrude Himmelfarb turns 94... Actor and two-time Academy Award winner, Dustin Hoffman turns 79... Attorney and White House aide who served as Chief of Staff to both VP Al Gore (1995-1999) and VP Joe Biden (2009-2011). Ron Klain turns 55... Film director whose works include 9 Disney films, Jon Turteltaub turns 53... Elizabeth Gordon... CEO at Connections Media, Jonah Seiger...

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