Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: July 28, 2016

JI Staff
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Bill Clinton sports a pin spelling out the name of his wife in Hebrew lettering.
Bill Clinton sports a pin spelling out the name of his wife in Hebrew lettering.Credit: Saul Loeb, AFP
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ROLE REVERSAL: "The Dems Become the Security Party" by Michael Hirsh: "Wednesdaynight confirmed a dramatic shift, perhaps even a reversal, of the roles the two major parties have been identified with for several decades. For the first time, perhaps, since Vietnam, the Democratic Party is now the party of national security expertise—not just in its own rhetoric, but in the eyes of national-security specialists on both sides. So pronounced is this shift that some national-security experts say Trump, if elected, may have a lot of trouble filling top posts in his administration with qualified Republican officials. “I don’t know any prominent national security person who’s signed up with Trump since he started," says Eliot Cohen."

"Dan Senor, a key foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney in 2012, says he also doesn’t “know anyone who’s been in a serious position in a Republican administration in a national security role who’s comfortable saying, at least now, that they could work in his administration. It’s never been like this before--people saying, ‘Oh my gosh, this guy is inflammatory, he’s volatile, I have real questions about his temperament to the point that he shouldn’t ever be allowed to set foot in the Situation Room.’ I’ve never heard that."" [PoliticoMag]

Michael Bloomberg Sums Up The Election: ‘Let’s Elect a Sane, Competent Person’ -- by Jonathan Chait: 
"It was Bloomberg, the non-Democrat, who boiled the stakes of the election down to its essence. “We must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue,” he said. His ad-libbed conclusion was rousing even in its almost comic lack of praise for the nominee he endorsed: “Let’s elect a sane, competent person.” The bar has been set so low, and the stakes are so high. That is the election in its essence." [NYMagBusinessInsider]

'HEY, WEINER' -- Two Jewish Political Ships: "Anthony Weiner, Often a Democratic Outcast, Is Sticking Around" by Matt Flegenheimer: "Their eyes met outside Suite 10 in the convention hall: two political ships — both sunk, or close to it — passing in the Democratic night. “Hey, Weiner,” the Florida congresswoman said. Her former peer smiled back. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Anthony D. Weiner were having a moment. It happened late Tuesday, after Bill Clinton’s convention speech on his wife’s behalf. Ms. Wasserman Schultz — something of a pariah this week since announcing she would step down as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee — did not break stride."[NYTimes]

"DNC insiders detail months of escalating dysfunction" by Edward-Isaac Dovere: "Debbie Wasserman Schultz wasn’t supposed to ask Joe Biden to come to her daughter’s bat mitzvah. Democratic National Committee staff had sent the chair to the vice president armed with four specific requests for getting him involved in raising money for the party. She decided to scrap them for two of her own... The second was to get down to Boca Raton for the bat mitzvah. Biden’s staff balked. They offered to tape a video message from him instead, hoping that would satisfy her. Wasserman Schultz eagerly said yes. They played it for everyone who came." [Politico]

TOP TALKER: "Bill Clinton Sports Hebrew Hillary Pin at Democratic National Convention" by Yair Rosenberg: Steve Rabinowitz: "I was at a Clinton/Gore campaign alumni event this afternoon at the Jewish Historical Museum in Philadelphia and gave my old boss the pin. He said he’d wear it but I didn’t know whether or not to believe him and certainly didn’t think he’d do it tonight. Meanwhile, separately and without either of us knowing it, Marc Stanley [the chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council] did the same thing tonight when he saw Clinton in the convention hall and Clinton told him he was planning to wear it. Don’t know who gets the credit but we’re both happy. It’s NJDC’s pin." [TabletMagPic]

“Clinton condemns burning of Israeli flag” by Michael Wilner: "Hillary Clinton has always stood against efforts to marginalize Israel and incitement, and she strongly condemns this kind of hatred," said Sarah Bard, Clinton's Jewish outreach director. "Burning the Israeli flag is a reckless act that undermines peace and our values." [JPost]

Wendy Sherman discussed the Dem platform on Israel at an AJC Global panel: “I had very, very direct instructions from Secretary Clinton that there would be clarity about this issue and there would be no space.” 

HEARD YESTERDAY: J Street hosted an event at the National Jewish American History Museum yesterday for guests to meet several candidates running for office this year. In brief remarks, J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami noted with pride that his PAC’s list of endorsed candidates now includes over 50 percent of Democratic House members along with 20 incumbent Senators... “In 2016, is when the political fruits of the decision to support the Iran deal comes home,” he said. “The people who voted for the agreement will all win reelection, and people who stood in opposition... many of them are going to lose.” 

SPOTTED: Reps. Steve Cohen, Mark Pocan, Bill Foster, & Joe Kennedy; Dylan Williams, Jessica Rosenblum, Greg & Marti Rosenbaum, Rabbi Jonah and Dana Pesner, Peter Beinart, Chanan Weissman, Ron Kampeas, Stewart Ain, Michael Wilner, Rebecca Shimoni Stoil, Tal Schneider, Shai Franklin, Steve Rabinowitz, Aaron Keyak, Joshua Runyan, Barbara Goldberg Goldman, Aaron Weinberg, and Matt Dorf. 

Ted Strickland, running against Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH): “When the Iranian agreement was reached I had people tell me that I did not need to take a position; that the political wise decision would be for me to stay silent. But I deeply believe that it was the right decision. I have taken a position and I have paid some political price for that. But I do not regret that decision whatsoever.”

Tammy Duckworth, running against Sen, Mark Kirk (R-IL): “For those of us who have served in uniform, for those of us who spent our lives defending our nation, we are proud and adamant in our support of the State of Israel being able to to defend itself. But we also know that often times the best path to a security is peace. Sometimes the best solution is not more weapons; sometimes the best solution is actually entering negotiations and find a way to work together in peace.” [JewishInsider]

“Israeli Government Dismisses Giuliani’s Claim That Netanyahu Prefers Donald Trump” by Rosie Gray: “We hold Mayor Giuliani in the highest regard but the government of Israel does not speak on behalf of any American politician and no American politician speaks on behalf of the Israeli government,” Shimon Mercer-Wood, the spokesperson and consul for media affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York, told BuzzFeed News. “We have profound respect for the American democratic process and the will of the American people and we would say or do nothing to put that respect in question,” Mercer-Wood said.” [BuzzFeed]

Trump on possible Israel trip: “It’s a tradition, but I’m not traditional. I don’t know, I haven’t set my schedule I back Israel 100 percent “[President] Obama, in my opinion, is the single worst thing politically that could happen to Israel.” [JTAForward]

KAFE KNESSET -- Israel Katz Dreams of an Island -- by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: MK Israel Katz, a Knesset Cafeteria regular, sat down for a chat with Jewish Insider yesterday. Katz, who currently holds the Transportation and Intelligence portfolios - and is possibly the strongest man in the Likud party after Netanyahu - has been busy playing politics with the Prime Minister. He recently renewed his demand for the Foreign Ministry portfolio (his long-time dream), which is currently held by the PM. At the same time, Katz initiated internal Likud procedures aimed at undermining Netanyahu's power within the party. This prompted harsh accusations from people close to Netanyahu, who accused him of "conspiring with the left to weaken the Prime Minister." But that hasn't stopped Katz from trying his hand at diplomacy. Earlier in the summer, he produced a detailed plan to solve the Gaza crisis with the creation of an artificial island across from the Palestinian territory's shores. 

"The current situation in Gaza is unsustainable," Katz told us yesterday. He suggests building an island 5 kilometers from Gaza's shores, which will be linked to the mainland by a bridge. The island will include a port, a power plant, and eventually also an airport. "What we see now is bad for Israeli security, bad for Israeli interests, and it is also bad for Gaza's residents." Katz's plan which aims to ease the blockade on Gaza and provide economic independence to the Palestinians, while preserving international or Israeli security control over the "port island." The Likud MK has already presented his plan to international press, and to policymakers on a recent visit to Washington. 

Katz says the foreign ministry and security apparatus have already expressed support for the plan, which he sees as a chance to generate positive coverage of Israel's relationship with the Palestinians. He is pushing for a cabinet vote on the initiative, but that depends on one man – the Prime Minister, who so far has been reluctant to bring it up. "There shouldn’t be any politics here - I see a real chance for a deal breaker in one of the most sensitive areas," Katz adds. But Netanyahu is suspicious of Kat'z wider intentions, and doesn't seem inclined to boost his possible competitor's public and international image.

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Hedge Fund Mogul Steve Cohen Invests in Quantopian & Gives It $250M to Manage [BostinnoWSJ Wall Street’s Mr. Risk Thrives on Traders’ Ignorance of Politics[Bloomberg Carlyle Rainmakers Cast Dark Cloud Over Returns [WSJ]  Redstone granddaughter lashes out against ‘Aunt Shari’ [NYPost]  Caesars Unit Bondholders Seek Sanctions Against Apollo[WSJ]  Brooklyn Office Developers Chasing Tech Tenants Face a Slowdown [Bloomberg]  Lev Leviev to inject NIS 500m into Africa-Israel [Globes]

STARTUP NATION: "How Facetune and Enlight became top photo apps" by Katie Roof:"Jerusalem-based Lightricks knows what it takes to stand out amongst the thousands of photo apps. They’ve done it twice — with Enlight and also Facetune, which is currently the top photo app in the U.S. The startup, which has raised over $10 million in capital from Carmel Ventures, is based in Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. Farbman also attributes the team’s early traction to the startup’s close proximity to engineering talent." [TechCrunch]

CAMPUS BEAT: "Ted Cruz aide not a candidate for Yeshiva U president, school says" by Ben Sales: 
"Nick Muzin met multiple times during the search with Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, head of the search committee, as well as with members of the Y.U. faculty, JTA learned. But in a terse statement issued Wednesday, the chairman of Y.U.’s board of directors said Muzin was not being considered. “Nick Muzin is not a candidate for the position of President of Yeshiva University,” said the statement from Moshael Straus." [JTA]

TALK OF OUR NATION: "With Auschwitz visit, pope faces complex Polish-Jewish story" by Vanessa Gera: "Poland, a deeply Catholic nation, has a complex relationship with the Jews who flourished for centuries in the Eastern European land before perishing in the Holocaust. It is a deeply emotional story of both betrayal and salvation that Pope Francis will encounter during a somber visitFriday to the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where some 1.1 million people were murdered, most of them Jews." [AP]

Jewish philanthropist Marcos Katz passes away at 89: "Katz first arrived in Israel at age 14, escaping from Nazi Germany. His father joined him several months after and they were then joined by his mother as well two years after that. In 1947 Katz and his family moved to Mexico and at 20 years old he was appointed principal of the Jewish school in Monterrey. He met his wife, Adina, Mexico. Katz immediately stood out as a successful industrialist, legal scholar, and leader in the Jewish community, but above all he was a teacher and educator that understood the importance of the connection between the Diaspora and Israel." [ArutzSheva]

SCENE: "Power crowd turns out to honor George Osborne" by Oli Coleman: "The UK’s former chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, got a glitzy turnout for his post-Brexit pep talk to the US elite, hosted by Tina Brown. Salman Rushdie, Brown and her husband, Harold Evans, mingled with US bigwigs including Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, Henry Kissinger, NYPD commish Bill Bratton, Matthew Hiltzik, “car czar” Steve Rattner and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine." [NYPost]

DESSERT: "Campers Receive a Hands-On Lesson in the Tradition of Kosher Slaughter" by Megan Jula: "One by one, the boys handed the quails to a shochet, a Jewish slaughterer, who took a knife, its sharpness tested earlier against his own fingernail, and sliced the birds’ necks. By the time darkness descended, the campers here at Yagilu Wilderness, an Orthodox Jewish summer camp for boys in the Poconos, in northeast Pennsylvania, had collected the carcasses of more than 120 freshly killed quails, partridges and ducks." [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: President of the Council on Foreign Relations since July 2003 and previously a State Department official, Richard N. Haass turns 65... Managing Partner at Resolute Venture Partners and former White House liaison to the Jewish community, Jay Zeidman... Author of 36 sports related books, columnist and sports commentator, John Feinstein turns 60... Director of baseball research & development for the Washington Nationals, Sam Mondry-Cohen ... Political Reporter at BuzzFeed, Ruby Cramer... Jennifer Goldstone... Larry Gordon... Rabbi Jason Miller turned 4-0 this week...

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