Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: September 27, 2016

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton after the presidential debate at Hofstra University, Septemebr 26, 2016.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton after the presidential debate at Hofstra University, Septemebr 26, 2016.Credit: Spencer Platt, AFP
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DEBATE RECAP: "Clinton, Trump battle fiercely over taxes, race, terror" by Julie Pace and Jill Colvin: "In a combative opening debate, Hillary Clinton emphatically denounced Donald TrumpMonday night for keeping his personal tax returns and business dealings secret from voters and peddling a "racist lie" about President Barack Obama. Businessman Trump repeatedly cast Clinton as a "typical politician" as he sought to capitalize on Americans' frustration with Washington." [AP]

SPIN ROOM -- Ann Lewis tell us: "I thought Hillary won easily in the first hour, and that was even before we got into issues like race, national security and Trump's own temperament. You could tell that Trump disapproved what he believed Hillary stood for, but it was impossible to tell what his own policies would be. Nobody questioned which Hillary would show up because we all know how consistent she is. But if I had to bet which Donald Trump would show up, I assumed it would be the more 'read from the teleprompter' guy. And I was wrong. Within the first five minutes, we had Twitter Don, not teleprompter Don. My friends, who are independents and Republicans, whose concern is national security and international alliances, he deepened their disapproval of him."

--On Trump's mention of Netanyahu: "I thought that was maybe the only smart thing he did. Smart because (a) it showed that we do have allies and that he did, in this one sense, raise the name of an ally, and (b) it was accurate. He had met with him."   

Trump's advisor David Friedman: "If you were watching the debate and you were trying to evaluate the candidates, on the basis of which candidate is more likely to bring about some profound changes, domestically and internationally, I think you would have to conclude that there's only one candidate - it's only Donald Trump. One of the things that Hillary Clinton had the opportunity to do was to identify a single thing that she would do differently than Barack Obama. Almost everything she said was just general platitudes, no real specifics. I think Trump spoke very forcefully and passionately about the importance of reestablishing America's strength, both economically and militarily. I think that's to me the macro takeaway of the debate. I liked the way he was passionate in his feelings and his arguments, and her responses were very much orchestrated and the subject of extensive preparations. She was very rehearsed and he was not. But he seemed like a much stronger leader, and I think voters are looking for that type of strong leadership."

-- On why Trump failed to put Clinton on defense: "He has to walk a fine line with her because anytime he says anything somewhat too forcefully, she tries to turn it around and make it a gender issue. I think he was perfectly prepared for this debate, and he will be fine in the next one. Nothing struck me that would suggest to me that he needs to differently next time." 

Highlights - Trump attacked Clinton on the Iran nuclear deal: "You started the Iran deal, that's another beauty where you have a country that was ready to fall, I mean, they were doing so badly. They were choking on the sanctions. And now they're going to be... a major power at some point pretty soon, the way they're going... Iran has power over North Korea. And when they made that horrible deal with Iran, they should have included the fact that they do something with respect to North Korea... You say to yourself, why didn't they make the right deal? This is one of the worst deals ever made by any country in history. The deal with Iran will lead to nuclear problems. All they have to do is sit back 10 years, and they don't have to do much. And they're going to end up getting nuclear."

Clinton defended the Iran deal: "When I became secretary of state, Iran was weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb. They had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle under the Bush administration. They had built covert facilities. They had stocked them with centrifuges that were whirling away. And we had sanctioned them. I voted for every sanction against Iran when I was in the Senate, but it wasn't enough. So I spent a year-and-a-half putting together a coalition that included Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran. And we did drive them to the negotiating table. And my successor, John Kerry, and President Obama got a deal that put a lid on Iran's nuclear program without firing a single shot. That's diplomacy. That's coalition-building. That's working with other nations... And Donald never tells you what he would do. Would he have started a war? Would he have bombed Iran? If he's going to criticize a deal that has been very successful in giving us access to Iranian facilities that we never had before, then he should tell us what his alternative would be."

AP FACT CHECK: Clinton, Trump loose with facts on Iran deal [AP] John Podhoretz: "I loathe the Iran deal but I have no idea what he's saying" [Twitter] Eli Lake: "Trump Scored One Point in the Debate as Clinton Stumbled on Iran" [BloombergView]

ISRAEL MOMENT -- Trump: "I met with Bibi Netanyahu the other day. Believe me, he's not a happy camper (about Iran deal)."

Jeffrey Goldberg: I know Bibi Netanyahu, and I will say that it is accurate to assert that he is not, generally speaking, a happy camper." [Twitter

HOW IT PLAYED: Trump starts subdued, then his cool quickly melts [WashPost]  Short on details but long on criticism, Trump is put on the defensive [FP]  For Israel At Hofstra It Was Passover[JPost]  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Press Pointed Attacks in Debate [NYTimes]  Clinton Overpowers Trump in Testy Presidential Debate [Haaretz]  Trump’s debate incompetence a slap in the face to his supporters [NYPost]

SPOTTED: Don King in the spin room holding an Israeli flag [Pic] h/t Howard Mortman

"Watch Rudy Giuliani kiss the hand of a top GOP donor, Miriam Adelson" by Amber Phillips: "That's former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has been one of Trump's most reliable cable news TV defenders, kissing the ring of Miriam Adelson, the wife of a conservative Las Vegas casino magnate -- a couple who, with the swipe of their pen, can play a big role in making or breaking a candidate. And on Monday, they are sitting in one of the front rows for the debate." [WashPost]

HEARD AT the Israeli American Council (IAC) closing plenary - Rep. Ed Royce on bipartisanship towards Israel: “I want all our members (on the House Foreign Affairs Committee) to have the same body of knowledge because we should be speaking with one voice overseas. The U.S. needs to project and for us to do this, we have to understand our colleagues better. And I find that those actions have demonstrable changed attitudes It is vital that both Republicans and Democrats understand that we got to work together and that we understand that this MOU is a floor, not a ceiling. Every standing bill introduced to the House, when we had to attach money (for Israel’s security needs), we have done so.”

Rep. Trent Franks: “My counterpart on the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus is Eliot Engel (D-NY). Now, Eliot and I don’t agree on almost anything, except Israel. And that alone has caused us to become very close friends. He knows I am confused and I know he’s confused. But we love each other because we have a common love for Israel. Having said that, as much as bipartisanship is important, we must not sacrifice the truth and the best interests of Israel on behalf of bipartisanship. We also have to remember that in America there are only two ways to change public policy: we either have to elect the right people or we have to beg the wrong ones to do the right thing.”

Sheldon Adelson: “Eliot Engel, although he’s the opposite of my beliefs, we have very strong shared interests on Israel and all the values associated with it. Also Brad Sherman and Ted Deutch. The only problem with them is that they are Democrats. But nobody can be perfect, all the time. I told that to Chuck Schumer (who was keynote speaker at the IAC gala Sunday night). I said, ‘You gave a very good speech; too bad you are still a Democrat.’ I think it’s wonderful to have bipartisanship.”

BIBI ON HAMILTON CROWD -- "After my speech to the UN General Assembly, I went with my wife Sara to the musical Hamilton. When I entered the main hall of the theater, more than 1,000 people welcomed us with enthusiasm. Many stood on their feet and applauded. Among the cheering crowd maybe one or two called out derogatory remarks. The audience, which was mostly composed of Americans from across the United States, included Senator Chuck Schumer. It was hard to believe that a number of media outlets later reported that I was booed. The headline on Ynet said: "Netanyahu hassled while watching Hamilton on Broadway." A Haaretz reporter published on his Twitter feed a headline that said: "Boos for Bibi: Israeli PM Netanyahu is jeered by Broadway crowd as he goes to watch hit musical Hamilton." It's rare that one can see such a stark difference between the truth and what was reported. Watch this video and see for yourself." [Facebook]

President Obama in a conference call with U.S. Rabbis: "Rosh Hashanah is a time for reflection, and I'm not exempt from that.  So, looking back on the last eight years, I'm both proud of what we've accomplished together, but also mindful of the work we have before us. When it comes to the unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security, we've taken a clear stand, and the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding constitutes the single largest pledge of military assistance in U.S. history to any country, totaling $38 billion over 10 years." [WhiteHouse]

"Obama and Israel: It ain’t over till it’s over" by Ben Caspit: "The prime minister took advantage of this sensitive time to use the Democratic candidate to keep Obama in check, as Obama continues to debate about what to do about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict before he leaves the White House... People surrounding Netanyahu are concerned that Clinton will signal to Obama with a wink that he should go for broke by initiating a Security Council resolution, which would shorten the whole process of dealing with Netanyahu on the day after. Thus, she will be free of any pressure by the Jewish lobby, headed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, since the president before her initiated the move. This is Netanyahu’s nightmare scenario, which was alleviated, at least in part, after his meeting with Clinton."[AlMonitor]

"US Jews ‘more pro-choice than pro-Israel,’ new study says" by Eric Cortellessa: “American Jews are perceived as voting for Jewish interests, especially regarding Israel,” said Gil Troy, a professor at McGill University who conducted the study. “However, American Jews are more pro-choice than pro-Israel when voting.” Jewish donations to political campaigns also play a “disproportionate” and important role, it said. “In the 2016 presidential race, the Jewish financial vote remains disproportionately important — with estimates that Jewish donors contribute 50 percent of the funds to the Democratic Party and 25 percent to the Republican Party.” [TimesofIsrael]

"Bennett: US election period is ‘opportunity’ to annex parts of West Bank" by Tovah Lazaroff: 
“I see this as a period of opportunity to take action with regard to the future of Judea and Samaria,” Bennett told Israel Radio. “We should impose Israeli law on settlements in Judea and Samaria like Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Gush Etzion and Ofra” said Bennett... Bennett said that irrespective of who entered the White House, annexation was something that had to happen. “We can’t expect the world to be more Zionist than we are,” he said. “We have to do what is right for us." [JPost]  Palestinians condemn Trump vow on Jerusalem as Israel's capital [Yahoo]

"Iran says some sanctions under nuclear deal still in place" by George Jahn: "Nuclear agency chief Ali Akbar Salehi did not blame particular countries in comments to the International Atomic Energy Agency's general conference. But other Iranian officials have faulted the United States for perceived delays in lifting financial sanctions... But U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that if Iran was disappointed in the pace of sanctions-lifting, it was due to international caution about doing business with Tehran. "We have carried out fully our responsibilities beyond the letter of the agreement," he told reporters." [AP]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Israel’s Leviathan Partners Sign Gas Export Deal With Jordan [Bloomberg] Aleph Raises $180 Million for Second Venture Capital Fund [Haaretz]  Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison never loses his cool in meetings [BusinessInsider]  Jann Wenner Sells Minority Share of Rolling Stone Magazine to Singapore Entrepreneur [KQED]  Jonathan Kraft is streaming to the future[BostonGlobe]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Start-Up Nation Central and Artis partnered with The Paul E. Singer Foundation Monday night to showcase Israeli innovations relevant to the art world at Sotheby's in NYC. The evening featured presentations by artists Ori Gersht, Ronen Sharabani, Nevet Yitzhak, and high-tech companies Dip-tech, Museloop, and Niio. Spotted: Paul Singer, Terry Kassel, Rivka Saker, Jennifer Roth, Robert Kraft, Dan Senor, Lynn Schusterman, Eugene Kandel, Betty Grinstein, Estee Swieca, Mike Swieca, Mort Landowne, Tiffany Zabludowicz, Alix Greenberg, Seth Siegel and Rachel Ringler, Peter Thoren, Matthew Swift, Elena Lefkowitz, Ilan Kaufthal, Ariella Saperstein, Andrea & Robert Meislin, Brian Cohen, Raphael Ouzan, Serena Steinberg, Lisa Applebaum, Zoya Raynes. [Pic]

LongRead -- "Under close watch: Jonathan Pollard's life out of prison" by Tzipi Shmilovitz: "Since his release, Jonathan and Esther Pollard have been living in a small one-room apartment in central Manhattan—on the fifth floor, with no elevator. Pollard's day begins at 7am and ends at 7pm, because of the 12-hour curfew imposed on him as part of his parole. He could walk freely on the streets of Manhattan, but cannot leave its borders—not even to Brooklyn, where the religious Jewish community is centered and where his main social circle are. Another result of his curfew is that he cannot attend morning or evening prayers at the synagogue. Pollard also can't attend prayers on Saturday morning, because of the electronic monitoring bracelet that is permanently on his arm... Due to the terms of his release, Pollard is not allowed to have a smartphone, and he has been using a simple flip phone." [Ynet]

TALK OF THE TOWN: "Little space, large life. Why we live in a teeny apartment with three children" by Batsheva Neuer: "My children are 4, 2 and 8 weeks and they have yet to hear me use the S word: space. I swore 18 months ago when we moved into our two-bedroom that we would adopt a “have” rather than “have not” attitude. Growing up on stories that my grandfather, whose family of nine lived in a one-room shtetl home in Poland where they perched his mattress on their stovetop to optimize space, I reminded myself that our limited conditions would be cozy, not claustrophobic." [WashPost]

SPORTS BLINK: Jewish Day guard Bryan Knapp commits to Cornell basketball" by Jacob Bogage: "After his sophomore season, Knapp debated transferring from Jewish Day to Bullis to play on a bigger stage and get more recruiting attention. He hadn’t started drawing interest from colleges yet, with JDS or on the AAU circuit. So Knapp and his parents met with McCloud in his office at the Rockville school to talk over his high school options and what his college basketball future might look like. Maybe it’s best if you stay here, McCloud told him. You could get more attention at Jewish Day, a school not exactly known for breeding world-beating athletes, as a big fish in a small pond." [WashPost]

NYC SCENE THE OTHER DAY: The American Sephardi Federation hosted the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Center for Jewish History in Chelsea for a tour of  Portugal, The Last Hope: SousaMendes’ Visas for Freedom. “Your history is our history,” said the President before a private reception of Holocaust survivors saved by Aristides de Sousa Mendes and board members of ASF, American Jewish Committee, B’Nai Brith, and Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation, as he announced his intention to confer on Mendes the Grand Cross of the Order of Liberty. The exhibit honors Mendes, who, as the Portuguese Consul General at Bordeaux during the Holocaust, saved Salvador Dali, the authors of Curious George, and thousands of people, many of them Jews, by issuing visas against the orders of his government. 50 years ago Mendes was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad VaShem.

SPOTTED: Ambassador of Portugal to the US Domingos Fezas Vital, Portugal’s Consul General in New York Manuela Bairos, B’nai Brith International Chairman of the Executive Peter A. Perlman, AJC NY Board Member Carol Lipsky, Yeshiva University Museum Board Member Edward Stelzer, AJC NY Board Member Joshua de sola Mendes, ASF Board Member Edmund Shamsi, Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation Board Member James Caspi, Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation Board Member Clifton Russo, Center for Jewish History President Joel Levy, Sousa Mendes Foundation President Olivia Mattis, American Sephardi Federation Executive Director Jason Guberman. [Pics]

BIRTHDAYS: Physicist and emeritus professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia, critic of climate change, Fred Singer turns 92... Billionaire philanthropist, investor and pioneer in the commercial real estate industry, Sam Zell (born Shmuel Zielonka) turns 75... Co-founder of The Home Depot and owner of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank turns 74... Award-winning journalist at the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Fortune Magazine and the Washington Post, now President of BGR Public Relations, Jeffrey H. Birnbaum turns 60... Comedian and author, frequent guest on both Letterman and Conan O'Brien, Marc Maron turns 53... Member of the House of Representatives since 2005, Chairperson of the DNC from 2011 until the summer of 2016, Debbie Wasserman Schultz turns 50... State Treasurer of Ohio, former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, Josh Mandel turns 39... Deloitte’s Alexa Wertman is 26 (h/t Playbook)... Judy Tashbook-Safern... 

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