Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: August 09, 2016

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Donald Trump gestures to his 'Make America Great Again' hat at a campaign rally in Redding, Calif. on June 3, 2016.
Donald Trump gestures to his 'Make America Great Again' hat at a campaign rally in Redding, Calif. on June 3, 2016. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli, AP
JI Staff

TOP TALKER: “A J Street man on the Democratic ticket” by Michael Wilner: “Tapped as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Kaine “is definitely someone who has that worldview that we support,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, said in a phone call on Monday. “He is someone who on his own has come to these positions – not in line with the more hawkish elements of the foreign policy community, or the more hawkish elements of the Jewish community.” Ben-Ami believes that the rise of Kaine, who has long leaned toward J Street’s positions, is becoming the norm among congressional Democrats, who sought cover in the organization’s tent during a bruising battle over Iran last year between the White House and AIPAC. “I think Kaine is a part of that,” Ben-Ami continued, “and in the next decade or two, the type of foreign policy approach that President Obama has brought is likely to be the dominant approach in the Democratic Party. We’re very enthusiastic about him.”” [JPost] Watch Kaine speak at J Street’s 2016 National Gala [YouTube]

“For Kaine, war powers issue shows a break with Clinton — and a push that fell short” by Paul Kane: “Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is holding fast to his long-held belief that the current military operation against Islamic State forces has not been properly approved by Congress — a position that puts him at odds not only with President Obama but also with his running mate, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.” [WashPost]

“50 G.O.P. Officials Warn Donald Trump Would Put Nation’s Security ‘at Risk’” by David Sanger: “Among the most prominent signatories are two former secretaries of homeland security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, also Eric S. Edelman, who served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser and as a top aide to Robert M. Gates when he was secretary of defense Missing from the signatories are any of the living Republican former secretaries of state: Henry Kissinger, George P. Shultz, James A. Baker III, Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice. It is unclear whether the former secretaries plan to stay silent or will issue their own statements. But particularly striking is how many of Ms. Rice’s closest aides at the White House and the State Department, including Philip Zelikow, Eliot A. Cohen, Meghan O’Sullivan, Kori Schake and Michael Green, are all signatories.” [NYTimes; Letter]

Dov Zakheim, one of the signatories, tells us: “The letter underscored the ongoing frustration of leading Republicans in the national security community. Note that it was signed only by Republicans.”[JewishInsider]

Trump responded in a statement: “These insiders – along with Hillary Clinton – are the owners of the disastrous decisions to invade Iraq, allow Americans to die in Benghazi, and they are the ones who allowed the rise of ISIS I offer a better vision for our country and our foreign policy – one that is not run by a ruling family dynasty. It’s an America first vision that stands up to foreign dictators instead of taking money from them, seeks peace over war, rebuilds our military, and makes other countries pay their fair share for their protection.”

“Prominent NJ Jewish Dem Attorney Backing Trump for Prez” by Max Pizarro: “Jewish New Jersey attorney Mark Levenson, a partner in the Newark law firm of Sills Cummis & Gross, is backing Donald Trump for president. Levenson, a Democrat who went to the Republican National Convention last month, told NJ Jewish News, “I am supporting the Republican nominee. I will vote for Donald Trump. On social issues I have differences with the Republican Party, but Israel and security are my primary concerns.”” [PolitickerNJ]

“Pence: Christians, Jews Would Be Included In Trump’s Territorial Terrorism Ban’ by Andrew Kaczynski: “Pence was asked if this meant the program would include Jewish and Christians citizens of those countries and he reiterated again the policy was based on countries where terrorism existed. “I think what you heard in the convention speech, what we talked about out on the stump is that we would temporarily suspend from countries or from territories if you will – the caliphate obviously of ISIS expands beyond one country – but to say that individuals that come from regions or countries that have been compromised by terrorism, that we would expand that immigration. I think that’s appropriate until we develop a new vetting system.”” [BuzzFeed]

Evan McMullin, independent candidate for president, studied in Israel: “McMullin studied in Israel while an undergraduate at BYU as a David L. Boren Scholar with the Department of Defense’s National Security Education Program, through The David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. He called his studies in Israel “a perfect capstone to the traditional coursework I had done in Provo.””[JTA; Letter]

Wasserman Schultz Challenger Ties Himself to Anti-Iran Deal Dems — by Jacob Kornbluh:“When called upon to protect Israel some legislators step up,” the pamphlet reads, quoting excerpts from statements issued by Reps. Ted Deutch and Lois Frankel and Senator Chuck Schumer against the Iran deal. “Debbie Wasserman Schultz waffled back and forth before voting for the Iran nuclear deal, choosing party and personal political ambition over principle. Tim Canova sides with Deutch, Schumer, and Frankel.” Andrew Weinstein, an attorney and prominent Democratic donor from Coral Springs, Florida called the campaign pamphlet “outrageous.” “It is remarkable that Mr. Canova would have the audacity to utilize statements from members of Congress who have endorsed Wasserman Schultz,” Weinstein toldJewish Insider. Adding, “To suggest that she is somehow abandoning Israel, is shocking.”[JewishInsider

“Defense Ministry Backtracks on Comparison Between Iran Deal and Hitler’s Munich Pact” by Gili Cohen: “On Monday, the Defense Ministry said it was issuing a new statement “in light of the mistaken significance given by the media to the statement by the defense apparatus last Friday that referred to the Munich pact.” It said that it had not intended to make a direct comparison with the Holocaust The ministry also acknowledged indirectly that Iran is currently abiding by the terms of the agreement it signed with the United States and other world powers.” [Haaretz]

KAFE KNESSET — Another One Bites the Dust at Netanyahu’s Office — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: A turbulent period continued in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office this week, as a series of cancelled or postponed appointments left important posts empty. The Prime Minister currently lacks a national security advisor, a chief political advisor, a Knesset liaison, and a cabinet secretary. Some of these positions have been vacant for more than half a year, as individuals Netanyahu hoped to appoint have undergone police investigations or given up on the proposed jobs for other reasons.

This morning’s news involved David Sharan, Netanyahu’s chief of staff and the Prime Minister’s preferred candidate to become the next cabinet secretary. He has apparently decided to part ways with the PM, leaving his office altogether for reasons that remain unclear. Last week, the premier’s chief political advisor, Kobi Tzoref, also announced his resignation, frustrated that he had not been promoted. And Jacob Nagel and Avriel Bar-Yosef, both candidates for national security advisor, removed their names from contention.

What all this means is that Netanyahu’s closest professional environment is unusually understaffed — at a time when Netanyahu continues to be Foreign Minister and Minister of Communications, in addition to his “day job” as Prime Minister of one of the most complicated countries in the world.

“Pentagon Eyes US Iron Dome To Defend Forward-Based Forces” by Barbara Opall-Rome:“Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon, its US partner for Iron Dome production, are working to transform the combat-proven Israeli interceptor into a fully American system in defense of forward-deployed US forces.” [DefenseNews]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Brooklyn multifamily titan Bernard Miller dies at 77 [RealDeal]  San Francisco-based startup Honor raises $42M to help care for seniors [SFBusinessTimes] Israel’s Innoviz takes $9M to put the squeeze on solid state Lidar [TechCrunch]  Sam Zell’s firm investing big-time in parking lot company [BizJournals; Reuters]  John Oliver rips billionaire Sam Zell [BlastingNews;Chicagoist]  As brain drain looms, new rules create roadblocks for ultra-orthodox to enter Israel’s tech sector [TechCrunch]  Jewish Settlements Draw Home Buyers [WSJ]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Extremely Good New York City Real Estate Drama Unfolding in NoHo” by Brendan O’Connor: “High-powered New York City real estate developer Aby Rosen has sent his business partner Jared Kushner a pretty rude message. A new billboard at a construction site Rosen owns at 337 Lafayette Street in Manhattan exhorts passersby, in huge white letters, to “Vote Your CONSCIENCE!” On Monday, Rosen posted a photograph of the billboard to Instagram with the caption, “Wake up America.” The idea of “voting one’s conscience” was a central tenet of the short-lived Never Trump movement that strove to usurp Kushner’s father-in-law before he was formally nominated in Cleveland.” [Gawker; RealDeal]

PROFILE: “Growing Up Trump: Ivanka Trump Tells All” by Lisa Depaulo: “What happened with Chelsea Clinton? Reports said they “suspended” their friendship because of the campaign. That had to be rough. “Why has it been rough?!” she replies. “I still consider her a very close friend, and she considers me as well. We have a great relationship.” Really? “I’m not running for public office, and neither is she, so of course we’re still friends.” Have you seen the new baby? “Not yet.” But she sent “a cute gift. More for the mother than the baby.”” [Bazaar]

“Clinton readies for Hamptons fundraising blitz” by Annie Karni: “Loews CEO Jonathan Tisch and Rudin Management bigwig Bill Rudin have sent out invitations to a $33,400-a-head dinner they are co-hosting. Clinton is also planning to attend fundraising dinners in Sagaponack, Quogue and East Hampton, hosted by donors like hedge fund manager and art collector Adam Sender; philanthropist Barbara Lee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Carl Spielvogel, former U.S. ambassador to the Slovak Republic; and Infor CEO Charles Phillips and longtime Clinton donor Alan Patricof.” [Politico] “Clinton Campaign Adds Tim Kaine Events to L.A. Fundraising Blitz” [Variety]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Invented Disaster and the American Jewish Experience” by A.O. Scott: “For modern American Jews, bred in an atmosphere of religious pluralism and consumerist freedom of choice, the question of what it is to be Jewish grows more complicated with every generation. Does the essence of Jewishness dwell in religious observance or ethical questioning? In obedience to Jewish law or a taste for certain jokes and foodstuffs? In reverence for your parents or rebellion against them? And while we’re at it (deep breath, heavy sigh, clenched teeth): What about Israel? The great virtue—and also the great vexation—of Jonathan Safran Foer’s new novel, his first in more than a decade, is its meticulous, exhausting attention to such matters.” [TheAtlantic]

LongRead: “Southern Golems” by Andrew Paul: “When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, it threatened to wash away a major part of the American South’s Jewish history—a tough notion to sustain and preserve even in the best of times.” [Hazlitt]

BIRTHDAYS: Jacob Baime, Executive Director of the Israel on Campus Coalition (h/t Melissa Weiss) Fred Brown, comms director for the Republican Jewish Coalition and an RNC alum, celebrating with dinner with friends at his go-to Italian joint in Barracks Row, Trattoria Alberto’s (h/t Rebecca Schieber/Playbook)

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