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CONVENTION DRAMA: "Ted Cruz Humiliates Donald Trump, Refuses to Endorse Him at RNC" by Tim Mak, Betsy Woodruff, Alexa Corse: "Ted Cruz hijacked Donald Trump’s partyWednesday night. In the most dramatic, off-script moment in a Republican Convention that’s been full of them, the second-place finisher in the party’s contest didn’t endorse the man who bested him—effectively launching his own 2020 presidential bid in the midst of Donald Trump’s effort this year." [DailyBeast]
ADELSON DRAMA: "Ted Cruz rebuffed by Adelsons after he refuses to endorse Donald Trump" by Matea Gold: "Billionaires Sheldon and Miriam Adelson refused to let the senator from Texas enter their donor suite after his controversial address, according to a person familiar with the circumstances. It was a pointed rebuff of a politician who has methodically cultivated the support of the Las Vegas Sands chairman and his wife for years, and who was once considered a strong contender to get their backing in the 2016 White House contest." [WashPost]
Team Cruz Response: "Asked about the incident, senior Cruz adviser Jason Johnson described it as “pretty boring” and said “I don’t know if it was his suite or not. We walked to the suite and were told it was full. Looked pretty full to me but who knows.”" [BuzzFeed]
Shmuley Boteach tells the Times of Israel: "“The Adelsons are friendly with Senator Cruz, and whatever their feelings about his speech tonight, that friendship remains intact,” said Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a friend of Sheldon and Miriam Adelson who was in the suite at the time. “They would never have behaved disrespectfully to anyone, much less a friend who is a United States senator and a staunch friend of Israel,” said Boteach, who said he was authorized to make the comments on behalf of the Adelsons. Boteach said they would be meeting with Cruz in the course of Thursday." [ToI]
Adelson Aide Andy Abboud made the Sheldon sweepstakes official by tweeting "The Adelson's with their choice for President!" [Pic]
“'Desperate' for Cash, GOP Fundraisers Pursue Sheldon Adelson in Cleveland” by Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross, Megan Christie and Rhonda Schwartz: “Organizers of two so-called super PACs, which are legally allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts to support a presidential candidate, told ABC News they are “desperate” to attract large-dollar donors like Adelson while in Cleveland, now that Trump seems to have moved beyond the assertion that he would self-finance his entire campaign... Ken McKay, who heads the Rebuilding America Now PAC, said emissaries from his group have met with Adelson in Cleveland. Known in fundraising circles as a “whale” because of his ability and willingness to give so much, Adelson has been pursued all week. The casino magnate has been a conspicuous presence, moving in and out of his Ritz Carlton hotel suite with a large security contingent. When ABC News approached him to ask about his plans for 2016, security guards brushed reporters aside and put their hands up to block cameras. Calls to his spokesperson were not returned.” [ABCNews] "Trump blesses major super PAC effort" [Politico]
SPOTTED: Trump advisor Jason Greenblatt with a minyan of Jews at the Q [Pic; Instagram] The group of around 30 men attracted attention from onlookers [Twitter] A "Trump: He's Mishpocha!" pin[Pic] Rabbis Levi Shemtov (Chabad-Lubavitch) and Abba Cohen (Agudath Israel) on the Q concourse[Pic]
"Donald Trump Jr.’s call for school choice splits Jewish groups" by Ben Sales: "American public schools, Trump Jr. said, are “like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers, for the teachers and the administrators and not the students. You know why other countries do better in K through 12? They let parents choose where to send their own children to school. That’s called competition. It’s called the free market.”... “The Jewish community has long been concerned that government not be in the business of supporting private education,” AJC general counselMarc Stern said. “Communities that want to maintain religious schools should pay for them on their own without government support. People shouldn’t be taxed to support things they don’t agree with.” “For parents who send their kids to Jewish day school, tuition is prohibitively high,” the OU's Maury Litwacksaid. “They pay property taxes and a variety of other taxes. In American education there’s too often a one-size-fits-all approach to education. There should be more options.” [JTA]
Why Sen. Tim Scott is skipping Trump’s acceptance speech: “Scott told The Post and Courier he has events to attend on Wednesday with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, then he hits the road for Iowa to campaign with U.S. GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley.” [Post&Courier]
“Gingrich pushing Trump to issue hundreds of executive orders on first day” by Alexander Bolton: “Gingrich said one thing Trump might do right off the bat is move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something Trump pledged to do earlier this year. The move would please many pro-Israeli Jewish voters and Christians, who want Jerusalem to serve as the country’s undivided capital.” [TheHill]
HEARD LAST NIGHT -- Newt Gingrich: “The danger we face is much worse than the horrors that happened in Germany on New Year’s Eve, when 2,000 women were assaulted. It’s worse than what’s happening in France, where there are stabbings of Jews in the streets and the intelligence chief warned recently that Europe is QUOTE “on the brink of civil war.” It’s worse than what’s happening in Israel, where average citizens fear for their lives whenever they leave their homes In a world where Pakistan has nuclear weapons... where North Korea has nuclear weapons and where Iran--the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism--is close to having nuclear weapons...this, a catastrophic attack on innocent Americans, is a very real threat.”
Mike Pence: “And if the world knows nothing else, it will know this: America stands with Israel.”
“Mike Pence once compared Evan Bayh and Dan Coats to Nazis” by Darren Samuelsohn:“Pence’s article is titled “The Politics of Solid Waste” and includes this secondary headline: “German Jews of the 1930s would know exactly what to call the Coats-Bayh assault on the private property of unpopular individuals engaged in an unpopular enterprise.”” [Politico]
TOP TALKER: “Donald Trump Sets Conditions for Defending NATO Allies Against Attack" by David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman: "Asked about Russia’s threatening activities, which have unnerved the small Baltic States that are among the more recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing if those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.” Mr. Trump’s statement appeared to be the first time that a major candidate for president had suggested conditioning the United States’ defense of its major allies. Mr. Trump also said he would not pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies about conducting purges of their political adversaries or cracking down on civil liberties." [NYTimes; Transcript]
HOW IT PLAYED: "Trump warning to Nato sparks alarm among European allies" [FinancialTimes] "Trump’s NATO Skepticism Raises Alarm for Allies Near Russia" [Bloomberg] "Donald Trump’s NATO comments are the scariest thing he’s said" [Vox]
Roger Zakheim, a visiting fellow at AEI, emails... "This is not a surprise. Trump has consistently hinted, if not outright stated, that he would flout our treaty obligations whether with NATO or our bilateral treaties with Asian countries like Japan and RoK. As the article notes, this a dramatic departure from mainstream US national security policy and in my view reflects a populist and nativist bent that risks not only our nation's military and economic supremacy, but walks back our moral authority as the leader of the free world. This would accelerate the retrenchment that has come to define President Obama's foreign policy. The party of Lincoln and Reagan has always aspired to reflect the values and character of Lincoln. Trump consistently falls short of that standard; it's clear to me he does not believe that our nation's strength and prosperity resides in electing leaders that reflect and embody the values and morality enshrined in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence."
Hillary's policy advisor Jake Sullivan: "Ronald Reagan would be ashamed. Harry Truman would be ashamed. Republicans, Democrats and Independents who help build NATO into the most successful military alliance in history would all come to the same conclusion: Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit and fundamentally ill-prepared to be our Commander in Chief."
"It's Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladimir Putin" by Jeffrey Goldberg: "I am not suggesting that Donald Trump is employed by Putin—though his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was for many years on the payroll of the Putin-backed former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. I am arguing that Trump’s understanding of America’s role in the world aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests; that his critique of American democracy is in accord with the Kremlin’s critique of American democracy; and that he shares numerous ideological and dispositional proclivities with Putin—for one thing, an obsession with the sort of “strength” often associated with dictators."
"Trump is making it clear that, as president, he would allow Russia to advance its hegemonic interests across Europe and the Middle East. His election would immediately trigger a wave of global instability—much worse than anything we are seeing today—because America’s allies understand that Trump would likely dismantle the post-World War II U.S.-created international order. Many of these countries, feeling abandoned, would likely pursue nuclear weapons programs on their own, leading to a nightmare of proliferation." [TheAtlantic]
"The World Looks at Trump, Confused" by Julia Ioffe: “OK, America first, but then who’s second?” asks Thomas Gorguissian, a correspondent for Al Tahrir, an Egyptian news site. “It’s like Bill Gates saying he’s the richest person in the world. OK. But what does that mean for the other 7 billion in the world?” [PoliticoMag]
"Steve King: Trump lacks ‘long-term,’ ‘sustainable’ Israel policy" by Eric Cortellessa: “I don’t think I know,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know what he’s going to do, and I hate to speculate. I would say that I’m not sure that Donald Trump has worked out a policy toward Israel that’s long-term, good and sustainable.” [ToI]
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MEDIA WATCH: "New York Observer editor Ken Kurson sitting with the Trumps at RNC" by Hadas Gold: "Ken Kurson, editor of the New York Observer, is spending his second night in a row sitting in the Trump family box at the Republican National Convention. The Observer is owned by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and has come under fire for its treatment of Trump, from both outside observers and from some staff at the paper. In an email, Kurson said he's been in multiple boxes and seats at the Quicken Loans Arena, not just the Trump box. "I have been in at least SIX boxes tonight, as well as in regular seats on the floor," he said." [Politico]
TALK OF OUR NATION: "Birthright Israel inspires other countries to launch diaspora trips" by Rebecca Heilweil: "In this time of globalization, as diaspora leaders from many countries look to their younger members as political and economic resources, the diaspora communities of Armenia, Greece, Macedonia, Hungary, and Cuba all have founded Birthright-style programs. Each program is structured and funded differently, but all aspire to the success of the Israel-bound program."[TabletMag]
PROFILE: "Meet Tech Startups’ Political Mastermind" by Alex Fitzpatrick: "Startups like Uber, Airbnb and FanDuel are increasingly engaged in high-profile battles with regulators and lawmakers, fighting over everything from worker classification rules to gambling laws. Among those helping young companies navigate the country’s halls of power is Bradley Tusk, who was Michael Bloomberg’s campaign manager during his successful 2009 New York City mayoral re-election and served as deputy governor for Illinois." [TimeMag]
SPORTS BLINK: "Meet Nate Ebner, New England Patriot and Member of the U.S. Olympic Rugby Team" by Jesse Bernstein: "Ebner was born in Dublin, Ohio, and raised in Cincinnati. His father was a religious school principal at Temple Shalom, in Springfield, Ohio. From a young age, Ebner’s parents taught him “the importance of being Jewish.” According to Ebner, his grandparents impart on him the same wisdom his father once did, while also making sure he “keep[s] up with Jewish events andremember[s] [his] origins.” Now, he’ll represent the U.S. on the world’s biggest stage when Olympic Rugby kicks off on August 6." [TabletMag]
BIRTHDAYS: Comedian and actor, best known for his five seasons on Saturday Night Live (1985 to 1990), Jon Lovitz turns 59... Criminal defense attorney Benjamin Brafman turns 68... President of the Jewish community of Malaga, Spain, Elias Cohen... Campus activist Chloé Simone Valdary... Chilean born classical music composer whose themes include many Jewish topics, Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University, Leon Schidlowsky turns 85... Raphael Diamond...
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