Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: September 7, 2016

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Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016.
Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite, AP
JI Staff

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Jeffrey Goldberg's latest -- "Getting Bill Out of the House: If Hillary Clinton takes office, her best adviser in mediating Israel and Palestine’s century-old conflict might be the man who came closest to doing it before" in the October issue of The Atlantic: "I am writing this article in the courtyard of East Jerusalem’s American Colony Hotel, one of the loveliest places on Earth, and an epicenter of intrigue during the glory days of the peace process, in the 1990s... There’s no reason the U.S. government couldn’t rent much of the place out for Bill Clinton. I think he would enjoy it very much, and my guess is that Hillary, and in particular her top aides, might enjoy having him here as well."

"The next Middle East peace negotiator will need to win the trust of the Israelis, and to fend off attacks by the Israeli right. Obama failed at this; Bill Clinton could succeed. It is a cliché in Israel to say that if Bill Clinton ran for prime minister, he would win easily. Benjamin Netanyahu’s manipulations won’t work as easily on him as they did on Obama... At this point, it is perhaps the seventh-most-urgent situation in the Middle East... Bill Clinton might not succeed in bringing peace—chances are good that he wouldn’t—but it would be a crime not to give it one more try." [TheAtlantic]

INBOX -- from a JI reader: Tom Rose, co-host of the Bauer and Rose Show on Sirius XM and former publisher of the Jerusalem Post, pictured flying alongside vice presidential candidate Mike Pence. [Pic] In another series of photos from the same flight, Pence is seen displaying a "Jews for Trump" sign along with a Hebrew Trump poster. [Pics]

“Pence steps up assault on Clinton’s State tenure” by Matthew Nussbaum: “Despite traveling millions of miles as our secretary of state, the world is more dangerous today than the day that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took over foreign policy,” Pence said. “Our allies are less secure, our enemies are more emboldened. It’s not just Iran, walking away from our most cherished ally Israel, appeasing Russia, squandering the gains in Iraq, and the list goes on.” [Politico]

Tim Kaine in North Carolina:
 “Thanks in part to the global sanctions coalition that Hillary Clinton assembled, and negotiations that she initiated, President Obama ultimately achieved a historic agreement that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot. I worked across the aisle with Republican Senator Bob Corker to craft a bill that set up a constructive process for Congressional review of the Iran Deal. This process ultimately improved the deal by strengthening our hand in negotiations, instead of undercutting it through partisan politics. But we have no idea how Donald Trump would handle Iran – and frankly, neither does he.” [JewishJournal]

“Trump to Propose Eliminating Defense Spending Cuts” by Kevin Cirilli: “In his Wednesdayspeech, Trump plans to knock Clinton's policies as adventurism that has resulted in death and destruction across the world and also regime crises, the campaign aide said on a conference call with reporters.”[Bloomberg]

Ken Vogel tweets: "Hearing that Sheldon Adelson STILL hasn't given to pro-Trump s-PACs. Gonna be tough to buy $100M of even crappy TV time if he waits longer." [Twitter]

Lightstone Group CEO David Lichtenstein on 2016: 
"You donated $250,000 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Do you know her personally? I know her pretty well. She would have made a better president than Obama. Before fund-raisers, she memorizes everyone’s name and picture so she can say thank you. She’s not a fuzzy teddy-bear person, but the best CEO in real estate is not a fuzzy CEO. Who’s that? David Simon. He’s hard as nails. I’m one of his largest shareholders. Is he more fuzzy in real life? No. But it’s not about having a big smile. This is not a reality TV show. I take it you’re not a fan of Trump  It’s a sad day if he wins. His daughter said he’s a kind and compassionate person, but even a Tyrannosaurus Rex is nice to its kids." [TheRealDeal]

RISING STAR: "Hillary Clinton’s ‘Invisible Guiding Hand’" by Shane Goldmacher: "What cities Clinton campaigns in and what states she competes in, when she emails supporters and how those emails are crafted, what doors volunteers knock on and what phone numbers they dial, who gets Facebook ads and who gets printed mailers — all those and more have Elan Kriegel’s coding fingerprints on them. To understand Kriegel’s role is to understand how Clinton has run her campaign — precise and efficient, meticulous and effective, and, yes, at times more mathematical than inspirational. Top Clinton advisers say almost no major decision is made in Brooklyn without first consulting Kriegel."[PoliticoMag]

TOP TALKER: “U.S. Transferred $1.3 Billion More in Cash to Iran After Initial Payment” by Jay Solomon and Carol Lee: “The Obama administration briefed lawmakers on Tuesday, telling them that two further portions of the $1.3 billion were transferred through Europe on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5. The payment “flowed in the same manner” as the original $400 million that an Iranian cargo plane picked up in Geneva, Switzerland, according to a congressional aide who took part in the briefing. The Treasury Department confirmed late Tuesday that the subsequent payments were also made in cash. “The form of those principal and interest payments—made in non-U.S. currency, in cash—was necessitated by the effectiveness of U.S. and international sanctions regimes over the last several years in isolating Iran from the international financial system,” Treasury spokeswoman Dawn Selak said.” [WSJAP]

Senate GOP introduces bill demanding return of 'ransom' from Iran: "Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced legislation Tuesday to force Iran to return the money and pay American victims of Iran-backed terrorism. The Treasury Department would be blocked from making payments to Iran out of its Judgement Fund until Tehran complies with the bill." [TheHill]

House Version: "House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce introduced a bill Tuesday that "makes clear" President Obama violated U.S. policy by paying $400 million in cash in exchange for four U.S. citizens held in Iran." [WashExaminer]

HAPPENING TODAY -- The Missions of the U.S., Israel, Canada, and the Delegation of the European Union will host a forum on global anti-Semitism at UN Headquarters in New York at 10:00am est. Ambassadors Samantha Power and Danny Danon, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft and actress Rachel Weisz will deliver opening remarks. Four breakout session will focus on government responses to anti-Semitism, hate speech on social media, solutions for the digital age, civil society coalitions, and youth and education. Professor Deborah Lipstadt, a Holocaust historian and author, will close the conference with a keynote address.[LiveStream]

Danon Op-Ed: “Taking the fight against anti-Semitism to the United Nations: Instead of nonsensical sessions where the victims are blamed for the world’s ills, the forum will epitomize the UN’s potential for great good. Member states, civil society and private industry will all come together and do their best at solving a disease that has plagued our world for way too long.” [NYPost]

KAFE KNESSET -- All About Them Polls -- by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Just when you thought only folks in America were obsessing over polls, you might be surprised to learn that it's just the same in Israel. Channel 2 published a self-proclaimed "dramatic poll" last night, showing that for the first time since he entered politics, Yair Lapid and his "Yesh Atid" party would receive more Knesset seats than Netanyahu's Likud (24 vs. 22). When added to a batch of polls by different media outlets from earlier this week, all showing that a majority of Israelis blame Netanyahu for the train services debacle during the last weekend, it's clear that this has been a bad polling week for the Prime Minister. 

The Likud's reaction to these polls has been a combination of dismissal ("we saw how wrong the polls were during the last elections") and aggressiveness ("Lapid is a leftist who will make concessions to the Palestinians - something that Prime Minister Netanyahu will never do"). The most important thing to remember, however, is that the next elections are currently scheduled to take place only in 2019 - which means that unless the current government collapses in the coming months (always possible in Israel), the current polls can't possibly reflect the public's mood by election day.  

**Good Wednesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We'd love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Jon Steinberg's Cheddar Raises $10M for Business News Video Service [WSJ] VandeHei, Roy Schwartz venture raises $10 million from Lerer, NBC [CNN]  How Arianna Huffington Lost Her Newsroom [VanityFair]  How 1970s Chassidic Hackers Created a Worldwide Broadcast Network [Chabad]  Goldman Sachs Has Started Giving Away Its Most Valuable Software [WSJ]  Get a peek at Extell's tiny structure that will become the LES's tallest building [Curbed]  Starbucks CEO endorses Hillary Clinton [BusinessInsider]

SPOTLIGHT: "How American Eagle Dodged the Teen Retailer Trap" by Lauren Sherman:"Many "teen retailers" have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, including Quicksilver in September 2015, Wet Seal in January 2015, Pacific Sunwear in April 2016 and Aeropostale in May 2016. American Eagle, by contrast, is enjoying its eighth consecutive quarter of revenue growth... A change in management certainly seems to have given American Eagle a boost. In January 2014, after several quarters of declining sales, the company abruptly replaced chief executive Robert Hanson — who had been brought in less than two years earlier from Levi’s — with longtime chairman Jay Schottenstein, who owns a 9 percent stake in American Eagle. “I saw that everyone in the marketplace was discounting. I also saw that our product was not as good as it had it been in the past and it could be,” Schottenstein says of why he and the board decided to make the move two years ago." [BusinessOfFashion]

PROFILE: "The Craig Behind Craigslist And Craigconnects On His Influences And His Passions" by Peter High: "Craig Newmark did not set out to be among the most influential people in Silicon Valley when he moved to San Francisco in 1993. After spending 17 years at IBM, he moved west to take a job at Charles Schwab. It was roughly around that time that he began to grasp the power of the Internet to connect people. In 1995, he started Craigslist as a distribution list to friends to share information about social events... Today, Newmark is less involved in the day-to-day operations of Craigslist, and instead focuses most of his attention on Craigconnects... "My biggest single influence is the singer and poet, Leonard Cohen, because his music reminds me of the values that I learned in SundaySchool, but in a practical and effective way."" [Forbes Newmark discussed his Judaism in an interview with Something Jewish [SJ]

TRANSITION: "Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky to step down when term ends" by Tamara Zieve: "Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky will end his tenure when his current term expires in June 2017, he told The Jerusalem Post. “I told the prime minister. It’s not healthy for the organization. There must be new people and new ideas.”" [JPost]

HOLLYWOOD: "Natalie Portman Wows as Jacqueline Kennedy in ‘Jackie’: A Powerful Portrait of Grief Under Fire" by Marlow Stern: "The Oscar-winning actress delivers an award-worthy turn as the haunted widow of former President John F. Kennedy in ‘Jackie,’ which premiered at the Venice Film Festival." [DailyBeast]

BOOK REVIEW: "‘Here I Am,’ Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tale of a Fracturing Family" by Dwight Garner: "Jonathan Safran Foer has a gift for describing what a teenage boy calls in “Here I Am,” the author’s third novel, “the disgusting, smelly, smoked and gelatinous foods Jews suddenly need in times of reflection.” A funeral buffet, in Mr. Foer’s hands, is a lesson in the quantum physics of solace: “Impossibly dense kugels bent light and time around them.”... “Here I Am” is Mr. Foer’s first novel in 11 years, and it’s its own kind of buffet. It’s a divorce novel and a state-of-the-Jewish-soul novel and running below it, like a headline news ticker, is a plausible dystopian nightmare. An earthquake has flattened Israel, and the Arab world seizes this moment to unite and attempt to crush it. This is a big spread, in other words, an ambitious platter of intellection and emotion." [NYTimes]

SPORTS BLINK: "Minnesota Vikings owner thinks big with new stadium and Holocaust philanthropy" by Hillel Kuttler: "The team’s owner, Mark Wilf, 54, offered a Jewish take on the gigantic horn. “When we first bought the team, a rabbi in St. Paul said, ‘You realize that the horns on the helmet are shofars.’ I kind of chuckle about that sometimes,” Wilf, sitting 50 feet from the newly installed horn, said... Wilf is a hands-on owner, said the team’s general manager, Rick Spielman, noting they speak almost daily." [JTA]

FROM A JI READER -- "Sheldon Yellen, CEO of Belfor, the world's largest disaster recovery and property restoration company, joined over 140 student leaders at this year's annual TAMID leadership conference early this week in Newark, NJ. Sheldon shared how his single mother instilled in him a strong work ethic from an early age; when he was in 7th grade, Sheldon's mother once pulled him out of school mid-class and brought him back home because he didn't make his bed. Sheldon's management approach is rooted in treating his 7,400 employees as family - he handwrites each and everyone one of them cards on their birthdays. A dedicated supporter of Israel, for years Sheldon avoided traveling to Israel, saying "he never earned the right to" since he never served in the IDF. Sheldon's parting advice to the TAMID students: "There is no greater privilege then putting people first. Do the right thing, when no one is watching.""

BIRTHDAYS: RJC's Karen McCormick (h/t Matt Brooks)... WSJ's Gregory Zuckerman... Stuart Kurlander, Attorney at Latham & Watkins... Political columnist for Time Magazine and author of the novel "Primary Colors," Joe Klein turns 70... Color commentator for New York Yankees radio broadcasts,Suzyn Waldman turns 70... Pulitzer Prize winning former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, now Director of Literary Journalism at UC-Irvine, Barry Siegel turns 67... Russian-born Chairman of the Mathematics Department at UCSD, formerly professor at both Yale and University of Chicago, Efim Zelmanov turns 61... Author, lecturer Erica Brown turns 50... Screenwriter, producer and director of many succesful films and TV shows, Alex Kurtzman turns 43... Author of two New York Times best sellers and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Gayle Tzemach Lemmonturns 43... Billionaire owner and CEO of Gristedes Foods, the largest grocery chain in Manhattan, John Catsimatidis turns 68... Contributing Editor at the Columbia Journalism Review, previously National Political Editor at the Washington Post, Maralee Schwartz... 

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