THE SHOWDOWN IN MOTOWN — Warren slams Delaney, lays off Sanders in Dem debate — by JI’s Ben Jacobs in Detroit: Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney threw a lot of punches on stage at the Democratic presidential primary debate on Tuesday night, but the most memorable blow of the evening may have been the one he took squarely on the chin from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Much of the anticipation ahead of Tuesday’s CNN debate at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, was focused on progressive stalwarts Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). But the first night of the two-night matchup was also seen as the last chance for flailing moderates like Delaney and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to rescue their campaigns with viral moments. Egged on by the moderators, there were fights on issues like health care and the economy on Tuesday, but Warren and Sanders came through mostly unscathed.
Delaney spoke out against some proposals by Warren and Sanders, saying they were “impossible promises” and “fairy tale economics.” Warren quickly countered with easily the most memorable line of the night.
“You know, I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” she said to cheers from the audience. “I don’t get it.” For further insight read more here [JewishInsider]
HEARD IN THE SPIN ROOM — Montana Governor Steve Bullock emphasized his pitch as an electable candidate in a conversation with Jewish Insider. “I didn’t just win a Trump state, I won a Romney state and a McCain state,” he said.
Jeff Weaver, a longtime Sanders aide, tells Ben Jacobs in the spin room: “There were a number of candidates who went into that debate wanting to fight with Bernie Sanders. So they stepped up, they wanted to fight. He said ‘bring it on’ — and I think he dispatched them quite handily.”
Democratic media strategist Stu Loeser tells JI’s Jacob Kornbluh: “The central debate within the Democratic Party since we took back the House is whether we need to lead with our heads or our hearts. On Tuesday night it looked like the moderate candidates put their heads together and decided to push back.”
Eric Koch, a New York-based Democratic strategist, opined that Buttigieg and Warren “stood out” by “articulating a clear and precise message and vision for the future.”
HOW IT PLAYED — Sanders, Warren fight back against moderates in second Democratic debate [WSJ] • Pete’s too young, Bernie’s too loud [Politico] • Democrats debate socialism, just like Donald Trump wants them to [CNN] • Warren and Sanders give rivals Bonnie and Clyde treatment during fiery debate [TheGuardian] • Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, marooned together on Fantasy Island [NYTimes]
REACTIONS — Tuesday night’s debate clocked in at more than 2.5 hours, but foreign policy was low on the agenda, and Israel was not mentioned by any of the candidates. Israel experts told JI they weren’t surprised by the omission.
Israel Policy Forum’s Michael Koplow tells JI: “I’m not sure this was a terribly productive way to dig too deep into candidates’ views given the weird soundbite format and the crowded stage. On Israel specifically, when you relegate foreign policy to a couple of questions two hours in, I wouldn’t expect Israel to come up — as there are more pressing issues out there that people want candidates to address. I’m sure the Israeli government was happy to be left out, given that any questions in this kind of format would likely focus on BDS or Israel’s misdeeds.”
“I’m certain that as the field narrows and foreign policy becomes more of a focus, Israel will be a topic of discussion, and I anticipate nearly every candidate will support two states, oppose BDS, and call for a recalibration of U.S. policy away from the turn it has taken under President [Donald] Trump.”
The Brookings Institution’s Tamara Cofman Wittes noted that foreign policy “rarely features much” in presidential primary debates.
The Wilson Center’s Aaron David Miller emails JI: “The absence of any serious discussion of foreign policy reflects [the] priorities of [the] public, candidates and media. Hard enough to do health care in 60-second sound bites, let alone North Korea, among candidates none of who[m] are really comfortable on national security. When it did come up, it revealed among front-running [Democrats] an approach to [the] left of Obama. Lucky for Netanyahu, Israel didn’t come up. Two candidates on stage — Beto and Bernie — both described his policies as racist and Warren isn’t far behind.”
PIC OF THE DAY — Jefferson Henry Kraft, a 10-year-old from California, appeared to be the youngest reporter on scene covering the debate in Detroit last night. Kraft, a correspondent for KidScoop Media, was identified as a member of the tribe by JTA reporter Ron Kampeas. [Pic]
TONIGHT AT 8 PM — The second night of the CNN debate will kick off in Detroit’s Fox Theatre, this time featuring Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and businessman Andrew Yang.
HEARD ON THE TRAIL — Washington Governor Jay Inslee was asked about anti-BDS legislation during a meeting on Tuesday with Muslim leaders at the Islamic Center of Detroit: “I believe in freedom of religion and freedom of speech,” Inslee said, according to Washington Post reporter David Weigel. “I’m not a member of [the BDS] movement, I don’t agree with everything in that movement, but I believe freedom of speech must be defended.”
HEARD YESTERDAY — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) discussed his push for a U.S.-Israel mutual defense pact on a conference call hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) on Tuesday.
“I’m convinced that the intelligence sharing is robust and is meaningful and makes a difference,” Graham said during the call. “And I’ve had firsthand knowledge of how the technology has been transferred from the IDF to the United States military… there’s just a lot of things that Israel develops and invents because of necessity that we’d benefit from. So to me, when you look at the defense pacts we have with other nations, Israel is on the top end of the value for the United States… We have about 50 defense pacts with other nations. Most people probably thought we already had an arrangement with Israel anyway, but we actually don’t.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) agreed with a radio host who said Tuesday that “what’s going on with Israel and Palestine… is very, very criminal. It is very, very unjust.” The outspoken congresswoman was speaking with Ebro Darden of HOT 97’s “Ebro in the Morning.”
In response to Darden’s statement, Ocasio-Cortez said: “Absolutely. And I think… young Jews in Israel are sick of it. The Netanyahu administration is very much like the Trump administration and… the right wants to advance this notion that if you engage in critique of Israeli policy that you are antisemitic, but it’s the furthest thing from the truth… Jewish people have been persecuted throughout all of human history, but I don’t think that by marginalizing Palestinians you create safety. I believe that injustice is a threat to the safety of all people.”
ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — White House senior advisor Jared Kushner is expected to invite Arab leaders to attend a summit at Camp David in the coming weeks to roll out the Trump peace plan, Yediot Aharonot reported on Wednesday. According to the report, the conference was coordinated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, although the Israeli leader will probably not participate. Kushner is slated to visit Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates over the coming days where he’ll invite many of the leaders in person.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in an interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN International Tuesday that the Trump administration is “not ready to talk about” a Palestinian state as part of a peace settlement. “We believe in Palestinian autonomy, we believe in Palestinian self-governance,” Friedman said. “We believe that autonomy should be extended up until the point where it interferes with Israeli security.”
Friedman added: “I don’t think there is a serious political movement in Israel for a one-state solution, and I don’t think any of the acts Israel has taken or we’ve taken over the past two years is driving us to that point.” Friedman also insisted that Israel “hasn’t presented any plan” of annexation to the administration “and we have no view on it at all right now.” [Video]
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyehwarned on Tuesday that Israel will suffer a “demographic death” if a two-state solution is not achieved. “For the first time since 1948, the demographic balance is in favor of the Palestinians,” Shtayyeh told a gathering of the Socialist International organization in Ramallah. “Either the two-state solution or a demographic death; either the two-state solution or no democratic or Jewish state.”
On Wednesday, Israel approved the construction of 6,000 new homes in Jewish settlements and 700 new homes for Palestinians in the West Bank.
TOP TALKER — Ibraheem Samirah, a Virginia state delegate, interruptedPresident Donald Trump’s speech at an event marking the 400th anniversary of the commemorative session of the Virginia General Assembly in Jamestown, Virginia. “You can’t send us back! Virginia is our home!” Samirah, a Palestinian-American representing the 86th district in the Virginia House of Delegates, yelled while holding up a sign with the words ‘Deport Hate.’ [CSPAN]
In February, Samirah faced accusations of antisemitism for social media posts attacking Israel as “worse” than the KKK during the special election which he won. He later apologized for his posts, though he characterized the attacks as “a smear campaign.”
Upon returning to the White House, Trump blasted the media for focusing “100 percent of the time” on the protester rather than the content of his speech. “He didn’t look so good to me, but you gave him 100 percent — you often do that, okay.”
UPCOMING TRAVELS — Trump told reporters outside the White House that he would visit Warsaw on September 1 to attend the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland during World War II hosted by the Polish government. “I look forward to it. I like the people,” Trump said.
IRAN WATCH — The Trump administration is expected to once again waive five different nuclear-related sanctions on Iran on August 1st, preserving a key element of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
PALACE INTRIGUE — The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the decision to extend the waivers came after an internal battle pitting Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Trump, according to the report, sided with Mnuchin during an Oval Office meeting last week. The Treasury Department is concerned that revoking the waivers would result in sanctioning Russian, Chinese and European firms that are involved in projects inside Iran.
A U.S. official tells JI it’s spin that Pompeo and his advisor Brian Hook were against extending the waivers: “Brian Hook is obsessed with how he looks in European capitals. He will do anything to appease Paris and Berlin. The Europeans want these projects to be able to hold on to some piece of the nuclear deal despite the U.S. withdrawal. So Hook got Secretary Pompeo to hold off on a decision long enough to throw any BS argument at the wall to see if something would stick. It appears Hook found one — and so the JCPOA gets another 90-day reprieve, to the celebration of Barack Obama and John Kerry and to the chagrin of every Republican who fought the horrible deal.”
Politico’s Eliana Johnson notes: “The debate itself is reflective of the administration’s mixed signals about its policy toward Iran, which has often toggled between hardline rhetoric and diplomatic overtures.” [Politico]
ON THE HILL – by JI’s Laura Kelly: On Tuesday, Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Donna Shalala (D-FL) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced the “TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act” to address the unique needs of 80,000 Holocaust survivors living in the U.S. The bipartisan legislation would designate survivors as a unique population within the benefits of the Older Americans Act, a law created in 1965 to address the specific needs of aging Americans. It also calls for more resources for non-profits in the form of technical skills and training to better treat and help Holocaust survivors.
ROAD TO THE KNESSET — On Tuesday, MK Avigdor Lieberman reiterated his prior position that he would push for a unity government following the September 17th elections. In a speech announcing his party’s slate, Lieberman pledged to recommend the first party leader to accept his call for a unity government to be tasked with forming a coalition. “If none of the parties commit to it, we will not recommend anyone to the president,” he said.
A Channel 12 News poll released Tuesday night showed Lieberman attaining 10 seats in the next Knesset — compared to five in the April election — and Netanyahu being unable to form a right-wing government without him. The poll also predicted that the merged right-wing list led by Ayelet Shaked would end up the third largest party in the next Knesset.
Meeting with Russian-speaking bloggers and influencers at a Rishon Lezion pub on Tuesday evening, Netanyahu stated: “Lieberman wants Benny Gantz as prime minister. If you vote for Lieberman, you are essentially voting for a left-wing government with Ehud Barak as defense minister and Yair Lapid as foreign minister.”
QUEENS DA RACE — Though Melinda Katz was officially certified as the winner of the Queens district attorney primary race on Monday, the battle is somehow still not over. Challenger Tiffany Caban — who came in just 60 votes behind Katz — is scheduled to appear in court this morning to try and overturn the result, resuscitating more than 100 invalidated ballots and hoping for an unprecedented ruling. Board of Elections General Counsel Steven Richman told the Queens Eagle that since he started working at the Board of Elections in 1999, “in no case has the outcome changed. Just the margin has changed.”
** Good Wednesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip? 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 Editor@JewishInsider.com
BUSINESS BRIEFS: Bryan Goldberg’s Bustle Digital Group postpones Gawker relaunch, lays off entire staff [NYPost; NYTimes] • Apollo’s Leon Black sends letter to employees addressing Jeffrey Epstein ties [Forbes] • Crown Resorts probed after money laundering, visa claims [Bloomberg] • Nielsen open to selling itself in pieces as auction proves a bust [NYPost] • If Shari Redstone gets CBS and Viacom to reunite, more mergers could be on the way [NBC]
MORE BRIEFS: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi sees early success luring talent[HollywoodReporter] • You’ll be surprised by Steven Spielberg’s latest project [Fortune] • Tomer Barel, VP of Facebook unit Calibra, meets Israeli regulators on Libra [Globes] • Tel Aviv stock exchange completes public stage of offering [Calcalist] • Israel nears milestone on use of health data for AI research [BloombergLaw] • WeWork is in talks to acquire start-up SpaceIQ as it pushes into software ahead of IPO [CNBC]
STARTUP NATION — Monday[dot]com hits $1.9 billion valuation with $150 million raise — by Alex Konrad: “Monday[dot]com announced on Tuesday it raised $150 million in a Series D investment led by Sapphire Ventures. The round more than tripled Monday[dot]com’s valuation from $550 million to $1.9 billion in just one year… making Monday the highest-valued startup in its category of work software and the most valuable startup based in Israel. ‘The world is digitizing, and people are looking for better ways to do what they do,’ says cofounder Roy Mann.” [Forbes]
GOOGLE CAMP SCENE — A slate of high-profile names are converging this week in Sicily, Italy, for the three-day “Google Camp” hosted by the company’s billionaire founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Attendees are expected and rumored to include former President Barack Obama, Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio, engaged couple Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, Harry Styles, Diane Von Furstenberg, Barry Diller, Eric Schmidt, David Geffen, Mark Zuckerberg and many more of the world’s rich, influential and famous.
SPOTLIGHT — Warren Kanders resigned recently from the board of the Whitney Museum after months of protests over his ownership of Safariland, a company that makes the tear gas canisters used on the U.S. border with Mexico. Writing in The Spectator on Tuesday, Daniella Greenbaum Davis proclaimed that the museum “surrendered to the mob.”
She wrote that the story “is not really about Warren Kanders or his company, and that’s precisely the problem… With Kanders gone, the mob will pick on a new target. In May, Zachary Small of Hyperallergic gave us a list of targets: ‘the weapons manufacturer [Kanders] isn’t the only board member with ties to war profiteering and the Trump administration.’ Small named Nancy Carrington Crown, whose husband Aries Steven Crown counts a similar defense company as part of his holdings; Thomas E. Tuft, Julie Ostrover, and Pamela Devos; and Kenneth Griffin, the founder and chief executive of Citadel, a hedge fund with just under $38 billion in assets.”
PROFILE — The woman who started a viticulture revolution in Israel — by Cathrine Todd: “Michal [Akerman] first worked at one of the largest wineries in Israel but found her home 11 years ago at Tabor Winery, Israel’s fifth largest… In 1999, Tabor Winery was founded by four families of grape growers who had been growing grapes, uninterrupted, for five generations… Over seven years ago, ecologists working for the [The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel] approached Michal to see if she was willing to work with them to make the Tabor vineyards friendlier to biodiversity… Michal… approached the CEO of Tabor Winery, Oren Sela, with her plan and a pretty large budget of what she would need… The CEO approved her plan.” [Forbes]
HOLLYWOOD — Ralph Lauren gets the HBO documentary treatment in Very Ralph — by Chloe Foussianes: “At long last, fashion designer Ralph Lauren is getting the documentary he deserves — or, in HBO’s words, his ‘first documentary portrait.’ Viewers will see how Lauren self-started his all-American business empire, and eventually became a patron saint American style, expanding his reach from the runway into home decor and beyond… ‘As he enters his sixth decade in business,’ the official description reads, ‘Lauren reflects on his journey from a boy from the Bronx who didn’t know what a fashion designer was, to becoming the emblem of American style all around the world.’” [Town&Country]
ITV Studios acquires Israel’s Armoza Formats, creator of ‘The Four’ — by Nancy Tartaglione: “ITV Studios is adding to its stable of global entertainment formats with the acquisition of Israeli group Armoza Formats. Founded by Avi Armoza, the company’s catalogue numbers over 100 formats including primetime singing show The Four… The deal will see Armoza Formats become part of the Global Creative Network, headed up by Mike Beale, for ITV Studios. The Armoza team, based in Tel Aviv, will continue to develop and source new formats and also work with producers within the ITV Studios group on their projects in development.” [Deadline]
SPORTS BLINK — MLS commissioner Don Garber defends pace of MLS expansion reveals — by Jeff Carlisle: “Las Vegas has two ownership groups vying to obtain an expansion franchise, one led by Bill Foley, owner of the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights. Another group is headed by Baupost CEO Seth Klarman, who is also a minority investor in Fenway Sports Group, owners of reigning UEFA Champions League holders Liverpool. Garber indicated that he was in Las Vegas as recently as two weeks ago, where he met with both ownership groups and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, while also touring a stadium site. ‘We have been [looking at] Las Vegas for many, many years, and now there seems to be a bit more energy,’ Garber said.” [ESPN]
Inside Jim Dolan’s L.A. feud with Steve Ballmer — by William D. Cohan: “Why does Jim Dolan’s temper regularly get in the way of his business judgment? That’s the question making the rounds on Wall Street these days… Dolan’s summer of discontent also includes an ongoing nightmare for him and MSG that’s been unfolding in a Los Angeles courtroom since last year, involving Steve Ballmer, the multibillionaire former Microsoft CEO and the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. It is another example of Dolan’s fury seeming to get the better of his business instincts.” [VanityFair]
BORIS RECOLLECTION — Pollster Frank Luntz recalls in the Financial Times the time British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the case for Israel during a debate at the Oxford Union: “There was a motion condemning Israel for being responsible for the conflict in the Middle East. Every debater, on both sides, used facts and historic evidence to make their case. Not Mr, Johnson. He talked about what it was like to be bullied in the playground — making an unusually sympathetic case for Israel as the victim in the conflict. ‘Shouldn’t we blame the bullies, not the bullied?’ The place was mesmerised.” [FinancialTimes]
TALK OF THE TOWN — Soldier’s wife accused a rabbi of harassment. Army chaplain then ostracized her, she says — by Craig Sailor: “Two local rabbis — one a chaplain at Joint Base Lewis McChord, the other the leader of a civilian congregation in Tacoma — are under fire for their alleged treatment of an Army soldier and his wife, both Jews living in Pierce County, Wash. Jared and Traci Moran contend Capt. Michael Harari and Rabbi Shneur Zalman Heber tried to ostracize them from their Jewish community after Traci Moran accused Heber of sending her inappropriate messages last summer… The Army launched two investigations of Harari as a result of the Morans’ accusations. One found he made disparaging comments about gay people that were not in keeping with the character of an Army officer. The other investigation is ongoing.” [StarAndStripes]
An ocean away from the sanctuary of Manhattan, signs of peaceful coexistence — by Candy Schulman: “Seville’s old Jewish quarter [in Spain] is now dominated by stores selling ceramic pottery, touristy tee shirts, saffron and other Moroccan spices. I savored Iberian ham from legendary pigs raised on acorns — until I learned that after the Jews and Muslims were expelled in 1492, ham became prominently featured in Spanish diets, a way to proclaim you were a Christian. By the time I reached the hill town of Frigiliana in Andalusia, I switched to vegetarian tapas, which felt akin to and honoring my kosher Orthodox ancestors. Frigiliana looked like a dreamy movie set of steep, winding cobblestone streets, white-washed houses, and tiled store signs carved into façades like artwork. It was hard to believe this picturesque town was once a scene of bloody hatred.” [LongReads]
DESSERT — A Leonard Cohen cocktail — by Florence Fabricant: “In addition to his multiple talents, it turns out that Leonard Cohen also knew how to mix a drink. He created a simple three-ingredient cocktail called the Red Needle back in 1975. It consisted of tequila, cranberry juice and lemon, not as sweet as a Cosmopolitan (which came along later) and served in a stem glass over ice. Now, with the Leonard Cohen exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum, the drink is being served on Thursdays in August in the museum lobby and in the cafe run by Russ & Daughters.” [NYTimes]
Highly regarded SF Jewish deli is opening a huge new restaurant in West LA — by Mona Holmes: “San Francisco’s highly-regarded Wise Son’s Jewish Delicatessen is headed to Los Angeles, and right into West LA’s Lenny’s Deli. Lenny’s closed on July 28, and Wise Sons will begin a quick remodel, which means the heralded Bay Area deli could open sometime in the next few months.” [Eater]
BIRTHDAYS: Graduate of Yale Law School in 1951, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights (1985-1992), chairman of the American Jewish International Relations Institute, Ambassador Richard Schifter turns 96… Investment banker, chairman and president of Blum Capital, he is married to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Richard C. Blum turns 84… Actress, who went on to become CEO of Paramount Pictures and president of production at 20th Century Fox, Sherry Lansing turns 75… Nobel laureate in Economics in 1997, known for his quantitative analysis of options pricing, long-time professor at both Harvard and MIT, Robert C. Merton turns 75… Scholar, professor, rabbi, writer and filmmaker, who specializes in the study of the Holocaust, Michael Berenbaum turns 74…
Founder of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, in 2015 he bought a 16th-century copy of the Babylonian Talmud for $9.3 million, Leon David Black turns 68… Author of 33 best-selling mystery novels, many with Jewish themes, Faye Kellerman turns 67… Software entrepreneur, he is president of Ameinu and serves on the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency since 2008 (where he is also a member of the Executive Board since 2017), Kenneth Bob turns 67… Manhattan-based criminal defense and civil rights lawyer, radio talk show host and television commentator, Ronald L. Kuby turns 63… Businessman, investor, author and television personality (he has been a “shark” investor on the ABC reality program Shark Tank since 2011), he is also the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban turns 61…
CEO at Leenie Productions, she serves on the board of the Northbrook, Illinois-based Haym Salomon Center, she served for 5 months in 2018 as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, Helene Miller-Walsh turns 60… Israeli politician and activist, he is the leader of libertarian Zionist party Zehut and was a member of the Knesset (2013-2015), Moshe Zalman Feiglin turns 57… Director of the Sacramento Bee‘s California Influencers Series, he has taught at USC, UC Berkeley and Pepperdine, he was the director of the Los Angeles office of the American Jewish Committee (2017-2018), Dan Schnur turns 56… Born into a practicing Catholic family in Nazareth, Israel, investor and owner of the Detroit Pistons, Tom Gores turns 55…
Writer, known for her best-selling memoir “Prozac Nation,” Elizabeth Wurtzel turns 52… Manager of MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies since 2018, he was an MLB outfielder (1998-2010), the first player known as the “Hebrew Hammer,” Gabe Kapler turns 44… Political activist and the founder and president of Stand Up America, a progressive advocacy community, he is also the president of Hudson River Ventures, Sean Simcha Eldridge turns 33… Senior global communications manager at Tesla, Danielle Meister Cohenturns 31… Wastewater treatment engineer at West Yost Associates in Walnut Creek, California, Aryeh Samet Canter turns 29… Adam Rosenberg… David Goldenberg… Richard Rosenstein..