Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: March 10, 2016

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Trump dons his signature hat at a rally in Sacramento, Calif. June 1, 2016.
Trump dons his signature hat at a rally in Sacramento, Calif. June 1, 2016. Credit: Jae C. Hong, AP
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CONVENTION ROLL CALL -- Lisa Spies tells JI's Jacob Kornbluh: “It's pretty simple for me. This is the first year that I'm not going. Usually, for the past several conventions, I go and I organize two types of events. One is for women and the other is for Jewish Republicans. Those are two of the many groups that our current nominee hasn't really shown affection for. Therefore there hasn't really been a need for an event. It's really hard to do a women's group for Trump event when there's no 'Women for Trump'... There is another element to this which is people are scared to be in that environment. He's offended so many groups of people, not only are you going to have the typical Trump violence, which happens at almost every one of his rallies, you're going to have all the protesters there, who are coming out in droves against offensive things that he's said about many different factions of people. That's pretty scary... From the people I deal with and I know, I have one donor going. He's going but he's a party person.” [JewishInsider]

Michael Fragin emails us: "Donald Trump, despite his life of privilege, represents a grassroots revolt against the donor class. He has gone out of his way to offend Republican donors, especially the Jewish ones at the RJC. Why attend a party that celebrates the defeat of the donor class?"

Attending Cleveland: Brad Kastan, Nick Muzin. 

“Republican convention will be short on Jews, long on mystery” by Ron Kampeas: “The Republican Jewish Coalition usually rolls out major shebangs at party conventions, starting with a news conference where you can count on director Matthew Brooks to confidently project growth in the GOP share of the Jewish vote. Not this year, an RJC spokesman said in an email that noted plans for “a couple of events” closed to the media. One is a “salute to pro-Israel elected officials” – in governors’ mansions, in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Senate – which is typical of past conventions.” [JTA]

GOP Platform Committee Approves New Israel Language: The Republican Party’s Platform Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved proposed language that drops any reference to the party’s longstanding support for the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the 2016 platform. “Today, we send a clear message to the tens of millions of pro-Israel voters, who must see that our party stands on faith and principle,” said GOP delegate Alan Clemmons. “Our Republican support for Israel’s well being is of a paramount concern, and will not be sold out or dumbed down for the sake of petty interests, ever again.” [JewishInsiderHaaretzCSPAN]

ADL on GOP Platform: "We are disappointed that the platform draft departs from longstanding support of a two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict – and the shared vision of successive American presidents and prime ministers of Israel, including the current leadership in both countries, who believed it was the only viable way to secure Israel as both a Jewish and democratic state. We hope the delegates will reconsider and reaffirm this pillar of U.S. policy toward Israel in the final platform." 

Trump’s Israel advisor Jason Greenblatt responds to ADL’s demand to again denounce anti-Semites supporting Trump: “I think [ADL national director] Jonathan Greenblatt and others are completely wrong on this point. Those haters will be around with or without Donald Trump, and they should figure out how to solve the problem. Why is hate speech allowed on social media? Why does Twitter allow it? I don’t think [the journalists] got the posts because of Donald. We should stop the hate in its tracks and not blame Donald. The ADL should call Twitter and ask why it’s acceptable. It’s outrageous what is happening.” [JewishWeek]

HE'S BACK: "David Duke Plans to Run for Congress" by Gideon Resnick: "The former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and ex-candidate for Louisiana governor told The Daily Beast he is heavily leaning towards challenging Rep. Steve Scalise. Scalise is the No. 3 Republican in the House who reportedly once called himself “David Duke without the baggage” and spoke at a white nationalist group that Duke founded." [DailyBeast]

Veep-Stakes: “Pence, Gingrich make the final cut in Trump's VP search, sources say” by Eric Bradner, Jim Acosta and MJ Lee: “Some donors are pressuring Trump to pick Gingrich. A source close to Sheldon Adelson tells CNN that the casino magnate spoke to Trump and mentioned that he liked Newt. "Favoring is a more appropriate term," the source said of Adelson's conversation with Trump.”[CNN]

“Senate report: State Dept. grant also aided campaign to unseat Netanyahu” by Burgess Everett: “A State Department grant intended to rally support for peace between Israel and Palestine also helped set up political infrastructure that was later used for a campaign opposing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015, according to a bipartisan Senate investigative report released on Tuesday. The report found no legal wrongdoing by the State Department, since the $349,000 in grants for OneVoice were used to further the Middle East process as intended. Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) each signed off on the investigation, which was conducted by Portman’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. In releasing the report, Portman criticized the State Department for lax oversight and for undermining a U.S. ally.” [PoliticoFullReport]

“Top US diplomat in Jerusalem wrongly deleted emails, Senate report finds” by Richard Lardner: “When Michael Ratney served as the top diplomat in Jerusalem, he found emails with attachments to be a nuisance, the report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said. So, at times, he simply got rid of them to keep his inbox from breaching the storage limits. Ratney, now the U.S. Special Envoy for Syria, didn't know he was required to keep the messages, the report said.”[AP]

“House Dems: GOP Sanctions Bill Undermines Bipartisan Stance on Iran” by Jacob Kornbluh: “We, the signers of this letter,” Reps. Steny Hoyer, Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, and Ted Deutch write, “have always worked with you and your predecessors on bipartisan legislation to address the Iranian threat in a way that sends a strong signal of Congressional unity on this issue. Introducing a bill in the dead of night, without consultation with the Minority, unfortunately turns what should be a bipartisan effort into an exercise in election-year politics that leaves Iran free to continue its malfeasance. Doing so prevents us from achieving what should be the real objective: halting Iran’s dangerous actions.”[JewishInsiderForeignPolicy]

KAFE KNESSET -- by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Moshe Yaalon's resignation from the Defense Ministry last month left the Likud without a senior defense figure in the party. That might change soon, as speculation mounts around Yoav Galant's political future. Galant, former commander of the IDF Southern Command, is currently number 2 in the centrist Kulanu party, serving as Housing Minister. After Yaalon's resignation, Galant joined the security cabinet, and was one of the first ministers to endorse Netanyahu's controversial reconciliation deal with Turkey. Galant is known to have a tense relationship with his party leader, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, and he might be interested in an even closer relationship with Netanyahu. Three senior Likud ministers told us in recent days that Galant is preparing to join the party. Galant dismisses all this chatter as nothing more than rumors, and Kahlon's office issued a strong denial of reports about a crisis between the two, stating that he and Galant "are fully cooperating and have a good working relationship." 

"My Time With the Netanyahu Brothers" by Jeffrey Gettleman: "“URGENT,” the subject line read. “The Prime Minister is ready to meet you. Which day would be appropriate for you?” The prime minister is ready? For me? This wasn’t the prime minister of one of the dozen countries I cover in East Africa. This was the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Of course, I had seen him hundreds of times on television. But now, after a fluke involving a friend of a friend of a friend in Nairobi who had broached the idea of my writing about the prime minister’s coming trip to Africa, miraculously, or terrifyingly, the interview was on." [NYTimes]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Compass wants investors to believe it’s worth $1.3B [RealDeal]  Patriots owner Robert Kraft honored for philanthropic work by ESPN [BostonHerald]  Socialite threatens kin of billionaire art dealer with jail time [NYPost]  In New York, a Falling Market for Trophy Homes in the Sky [NYTimes]

STARTUP NATION: "New-York Or Silicon Valley? For Israeli Entrepreneurs The Answer Is Clear" by Eyal Bino: "The trend has had a major impact on Israeli startups as many of them set their US base in New York rather than the Valley, given that it’s closer to Israel both from a timezone perspective as well as culturally." [Forbes]

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: "Upgrade Your Next Birthday Party With the Airbnb of Event Spaces" by Lindsay Schneider: "So, you don’t own a chic Brooklyn warehouse and you can’t afford to move into Karl Lagerfeld’s Gramercy apartment. But now, thanks to Israeli start-up Splacer, these sought-after New York City venues can be yours, for at least a few hours. Known as the Airbnb of event spaces, Splacer is the newest company online that allows individuals and companies to list, explore and book the trendiest places and spaces for small events, photoshoots, birthday celebrations and retail pop-ups. Started by a group of architects in 2014, the Splacer team, headed by CEO Adi Biran and CMO Lihi Gerstner, set out to create a site which served to promote the sustainable use of underappreciated spaces in New York City and San Francisco." [Observer]

TALK OF THE TOWN: "Holocaust Museum to visitors: Please stop catching Pokémon here" by Andrea Peterson: "The museum, along with many other landmarks, is a "PokéStop" within the game — a place where players can get free in-game items. There are three PokéStops associated with various parts of the museum. "Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism," Andrew Hollinger, the museum's communications director, told The Post. "We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game."" [WashPostUSAToday]

BIRTHWEEK: Fred Zeidman celebrated his 70th birthday on Monday. (h/t Scott Arogeti)

BIRTHDAYS: Simone Veil, Holocaust survivor who went on to become the French Health Minister and then President of the European Parliament, turns 89... Manager of Institutional Affairs at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jennifer Goodman... AJC's Sarah Persitz... Eric Kohlmann Kupper... Jared Kash... Zita Gluskin...

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