Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: May 16, 2016

'Renegade Jew' | Bill Clinton: 'I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state' | BuzzFeed on the Orthodox Snapchat Sensation Surgeon

Former President Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, in Paterson, N.J., in May 2016.
Julio Cortez, AP
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BACKSTORY: "How Donald Trump Got Tapped to Lead New York’s Israel Day Parade" by David Freedlander: "The event’s organizers were simply looking to raise the parade’s profile, and trying to make the event more inclusive by finding someone who was not Jewish to lead it... Potasnik contacted Howard Lorber, the chairman of Douglas Elliman and one of the few New York real-estate tycoons friendly with the reality-TV star. Lorber proposed the idea to Trump — the two marched together at one point — and Trump quickly accepted... “I don’t think you could put the word regret on it,” said Juda Engelmayer. “Has he said or done anything as far as Israel, or as far as the parade is concerned that would make you regret? I don’t think so. It’s not like we asked a young Adolf Hitler to be the grand marshal.”" [NYMag]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Sheldon Adelson Is Poised to Give Donald Trump a Donation Boost” by Jonathan Martin: “Adelson told Trump in a private meeting last week that he was willing to contribute more to help elect him than he has to any previous campaign, a sum that could exceed $100 million, according to two Republicans with direct knowledge of Mr. Adelson’s commitment... Mr. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, met with Mr. Trump and his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, at the St. Regis Hotel in Midtown Manhattan while Mr. Adelson was in town for a gala dinner to benefit the World Values Network.. Mr. Trump assured the Adelsons that he was dedicated to protecting Israel’s security, an issue about which the couple are passionate.” [NYTimes]

“It’s a very big signal,” Newt Gingrich said. “Everyone knows that Sheldon is a very serious man and to have Sheldon come in as strong as he did” will encourage other influential Republicans to get behind Trump, the Georgia Republican said." [TheHill]

Yair Rosenberg: "Adelson styles himself as a staunch supporter of Israel and its security, and has given millions of dollars towards those causes over the course of his career. He recently claimed that Trump would be “good for Israel.” But his endorsement of the candidate—setting aside whatever one might think of Adelson’s hawkish outlook—shows that he critically misunderstands what it means to be “pro-Israel.” That’s because what is good for America is good for Israel and what is bad for America is bad for Israel." [TabletMag]

"Trump: Bad for the Jewish Republicans?" by Katie Glueck: “Without question, I think there were probably more Jews willing to jump over to the Republican aisle, precisely because of the Iran deal and the Republican Party’s staunch opposition to it,” said Noam Neusner, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush who also served as a Bush White House Jewish liaison and worked for Jeb Bush. “But I don’t think the opportunity exists anymore, largely because Trump is just anathema to many Jews, including Jewish conservatives.” [Politico]

MEDIA WATCH: "‘Renegade Jew’ Trends On Twitter After Breitbart Story On Bill Kristol’s #NeverTrump Plan" by Ed Mazza: "“Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew Prepares Third Party Effort to block Trump’s Path to White House,” read the headline of the article by Jewish writer David Horowitz. While the term “renegade Jew” is used only in the headline and not in the story, there were more than 1,500 tweets using the phrase on Sunday night." [HuffPost]

“Bill Clinton: 'I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state'” by Brianna Gurciullo: “Clinton was explaining his wife's policy positions in Ewing Township, New Jersey, when a spectator yelled, "What about Gaza?" “She and the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt stopped the shooting war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza,” Clinton responded. “She said neutrality is not an option,” the spectator said, prompting boos from the audience, but Clinton told them to stop. “Depends on whether you care what happens to the Palestinians as opposed to the Hamas government and the people with guided missiles,” the former president answered. “They were human beings in Gaza,” the audience member said. “Yes, they were,” Clinton said. “And Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas, and they are smart.” 

“I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state. I had a deal they turned down that would have given them all of Gaza," Clinton said. “There’s nobody who’s blameless in the Middle East, but we cannot really ever make a fundamental difference in the Middle East unless the Israelis think we care whether they live or die. If they do, we have a chance to keep pushing for peace," Clinton said. "And that’s her position. Not to agree with the Israeli government on everything, not to pretend that innocents don’t die, not to pretend that more Palestinian children don’t die than Israeli children. But that we can’t get anything done unless they believe, when the chips are down, if somebody comes for them we will not let them be wiped out and become part of the dustbin of history." [Politico; Video]

Who is former President Clinton referring to
when he says "and the people with guided missiles"? We asked Aaron David Miller who told us: "I think he's referring to Hamas's missiles, though it's a very imprecise formulation. If you read the whole Politico piece, the most significant takeaway is that both Bill -- probably the most pro-Israeli president in US history -- and Hillary -- promising to be if she’s elected -- believe that the special relationship with Israel is the key to US influence in delivering an agreement even while both are committed to a state for the Palestinians too." 

Jeffrey Goldberg: "Is There a Hillary Doctrine?" [TheAtlantic]

Heard on Al Jazeera’s “Head to Head” program -- Martin Indyk on how the U.S. can serve as an honest broker by being pro-Israel: “I am pro-Israel, but I'm also pro-peace. The United States is pro-Israel and that's what gives it its influence in the peace process. We are not neutral, we do not claim to be neutral. We have an alliance with Israel, but in order to achieve another interest that we have, which is peace in the region... and legitimate national rights for the Palestinians, we need to be able to influence Israel." [AlJazeera]

“The Clinton Wonks Forging a Plan for Israel’s Security” by Amir Oren: "The Center for a New American Security in about two weeks will be unveiling its report “A Security System for the Two State Solution.” The chief executive and cofounder of CNAS is Michele Flournoy, a former deputy secretary of defense in the Obama administration who contributed to the report. She’s a candidate for national security adviser or secretary of defense in a Hillary Clinton administration. A coordinator of the teams contributing to the study – an American despite his Israeli-sounding name – is Ilan Goldenberg, who was on Secretary of State John Kerry’s team in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and during Kerry’s mission in the Middle East." [Haaretz]

SUNDAY SHOWS: “Rice Denies Obama Administration Misled Public on Iran Deal” by Jacob Kornbluh: “There was nothing hidden. There was no effort to or reality of misleading,” Rice said during an interview on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS on Sunday. “There is nothing that Ben or the president or I or anybody who was involved in explaining the Iran deal to the American public said that wasn’t factually correct. The notion that there was any ball to hide or spin to put on it, I think, is really misguided.” [JewishInsider]

Heard on CBS’ “Face the Nation” -- Former Sec. of Defense Bob Gates on Ben Rhodes role in selling the Iran deal: John Dickerson: “One of the conclusions some have drawn in reading that article about the Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes is that he shaped the environment for the Iran deal. That he misled the public. Did you see that from your observation of the Iran deal and its being sold by the White House?” Bob Gates: “Well, I didn't have that sense. I thought some of the things the White House was saying, in terms of believing that lifting the sanctions could over time lead the regime and Iran to change its stripes and become a normal country, if you will, I always thought that was a stretch. But I didn't have the sense that people were being manipulated. That was news to me from that article.” 

David Samuels responds: "The first is that I am an “ardent opponent of the Iran deal” and “neocon” who, by writing this article, was plotting to sow seeds of mistrust about a policy that I have long assailed. This hot take, which has been tweeted and retweeted by thousands of people, is a fever-dream caricature, one that willfully ignores and obliterates the many hundreds of thousands of words I have written during my 20 years as a reporter... Somehow, for a small group of people with very loud megaphones, the point right now seems to be me — or rather, a digital piñata they have slapped my name on. It seems fair to say that Rhodes won our bet." [NYTimes]

HAPPENING TODAY -- ADL's National Leadership Summit in DC: At 8:30am, Jeffrey Goldberg will interview Knesset Member Yair Lapid and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer speaks on U.S. - Israel relations at 11:45am. At 1pm, ADL's Stacy Burdett moderates a panel on ADL issues in the 2016 election with the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus and Peter Madigan. [PressRelease] Watch live [CSPAN]

COMING SOON -- Paris Peace Summit to Proceed Despite Israeli Concerns: "Paris is to host an international meeting in May of 20 countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, to discuss the peace process. Israel and the Palestinians have not been invited. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during his one-day visit Sunday. Netanyahu said that direct negotiations, without preconditions, are the best way to reach a final agreement and that "any other attempt only makes peace more remote and gives the Palestinians an escape hatch to avoid confronting the root of the conflict."" [AP]
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: "Mark Cuban: It would have been 'fun' to run against Donald Trump, but it's too late" [CNNMoney] "Two Industry Assistants Team to Launch Private Membership Club Gatekeepers" [HollywoodReporter] "Art collector, Entourage actress and a beer entrepreneur: New York socialites and business execs exposed in the Panama Papers" [DailyMail]

STARTUP NATION: "How Israel is turning part of the Negev Desert into a cyber-city" by Ellen Nakashima and William Booth: “You will not find it in the United States,” said Eviatar Matania, the head of the National Cyber Bureau. “First, we have more enemies than others. We understand that the cyberthreat is here and now. Second, a lot of Israel’s high-tech and innovation culture is in cyber. This is where we can gain an advantage over other countries in defending ourselves. And thus, we see cyber not just as a threat to mitigate, but also as one of our economic engines.” [WashPost]

"Project aims to remove explosives left after 1967 war, giving pilgrims improved access to churches and monasteries" by Rory Jones: "Israel cleared a part of the baptismal site in 2011 and it has since become a popular attraction for visiting Christian pilgrims. Now Israeli and Palestinian officials have agreed to allow U.S. and U.K.-based demining group HALO Trust to clear the rest of the site—about 136 acres. HALO and Israeli defense officials estimate the area is littered with more than 3,000 antipersonnel and antitank mines and an unknown number of improvised explosive devices. The plan is to clear all the mines within two years." [WSJ]

"How solar brought Muslims and Jews together in one West Bank village" by Lonnie Shekhtman: "The $100,000 project is harnessing solar energy to power the drawing of water from deep underground to irrigate a grove of palms growing the prized Medjool dates. It is the first large project to be funded by both Jews and Muslims in the United States – including former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg – and to be operated by Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims on the ground. The solar array is providing an economic boost to 45 farming families in this town of 5,000 Palestinians on the eastern flank of the West Bank who struggle with scarce water and unreliable and expensive electricity." [CSMonitor; NYTimes]

LongRead: "Lights! Camera! Suction! How A Plastic Surgeon Became A Snapchat Sensation: Can this Orthodox Jewish father of five take his gimmick mainstream and still preserve his identity?" by Marisa Carroll: "An Orthodox Jewish, Floridian dad may seem like the unlikeliest star of a platform targeted to teenagers. But early tomorrow morning, under the too-bright Florida sun, Salzhauer will drive through his tony neighborhood to a nondescript office building, pull out his phone, and become Dr. Miami, one of the biggest stars on Snapchat. “Look,” he says. “I think that if I wasn’t an Orthodox Jew, I would probably be divorced and have two kids and be living like some kind of degenerate. We pray three times a day. I have to put on tefillin and there are certain ritualistic things you do every single day. It’s like how someone in AA goes to a meeting at least a couple times a week to remind themselves: If you go off the path, you’re in the gutter. So that is what I’m hoping will work. And I also know that it could all go away.”" [BuzzFeed]

"The Art Museum in Steve Tisch’s Backyard" by Brooks Barnes: "The building, which rose over the last 18 months on what was previously Mr. Tisch’s tennis complex, is a two-story, 4,500-square-foot mini-museum. This was the dramatic reveal. “It has just been finished; the paint is literally just dry,” Mr. Tisch told his guests, including Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, who had pored through Mr. Tisch’s collection to select and organize the artworks on display. “For the Jews here, tonight is the bris.” Everyone laughed. “That’s the Tush!” J. Ben Bourgeois, a longtime friend, said with admiring gusto, using his cheeky nickname for Mr. Tisch." [NYTimes]

HEARD YESTERDAY -- Sheryl Sandberg's 2016 Commencement Address at University of California, Berkeley: "One year and thirteen days ago, I lost my husband, Dave... Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways. I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again. I learned that in the face of the void—or in the face of any challenge—you can choose joy and meaning. I’m sharing this with you in the hopes that today, as you take the next step in your life, you can learn the lessons that I only learned in death.  Lessons about hope, strength, and the light within us that will not be extinguished." [Transcript; Video]

Condolences to Ambassador Norman Eisen on the untimely passing of his brother, Stephen. The funeral will take place on Monday in Los Angeles.

BIRTHDAYS: Real estate developer Charles Kushner, and 'mechutan' of Donald Trump, turns 62... Tribe Media President David Suissa... Real estate mogul and collector of modern and contemporary art, Aby J. Rosen turns 56... Proto-punk singer, songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Richman turns 62... Harvard history professor, Emma Georgina Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family of England, turns 68... Actress, television personality and author, Tori Spelling turns 43... Actor and Travel Channel personality, Adam Richman turns 42... Businessman and former CEO of Warner Music Group, Edgar Bronfman Jr. turns 61... Brookings' Michael O'Hanlon... AIPAC's Natalie Epelman... Sally Oren (yesterday)... 
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