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MUST SEE VIDEO -- UNSC clapping and cheering after adopting the resolution condemning Israel [CSPAN

FEEL FREE TO WEIGH IN -- The question we'll be posing to a variety of thought leaders today is who will be the biggest longterm loser from Friday's action at the UNSC? 1. Israel -- will Friday add fuel and legitimacy to the BDS movement? 2. The Palestinians -- does this make the prospect for peace harder and the odds of a State lower? 3. Obama's legacy -- he delivered Israel its largest MOU but will the pro-Israel community ever look past their anger over his final month? 4. The UN -- will Congress and Trump cut their funding? 5. The Israeli Left -- Have Obama and Kerry empowered the Israeli Right? 6. Netanyahu -- will his reaction cause even more damage to him and the country he leads? 7. Obama's future fundraising and speaking opportunities -- does he risk becoming as toxic in certain circles as former President Jimmy Carter currently is? Send us your thoughts by replying to this newsletter and we may feature your response tomorrow. 

Another Question On Our Mind -- Watching Amb. Samantha Power's speech at the UN Friday, did you get the sense that behind-the-scenes she was actually in favor of vetoing the resolution but the President decided otherwise? [CSPAN]

Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, explains to PBS Newshour why the U.S. didn’t veto the UN’s vote against Israel: “The fact of the matter is, we can’t just have a peace process or a two-state solution as an empty talking point. If we really want to be able to have a prospect for peace, we have to be clear about what we’re against and that includes the type of settlements… that have been obstacles to peace… At a certain point, we all just have to stop and look at the map and look at the facts and say, if these settlements continue, is the two-state solution impossible? And that clearly is the trend line.” [PBS] • Read full transcript of the WH press call from Friday [WhiteHouse]

TOP TALKER: Abe Foxman ‘Sad’ Over Obama’s ‘Vindictive Payback’ at UN -- by Jacob Kornbluh: 
“I think it’s payback because it doesn’t accomplish anything else,” Foxman told Jewish Insider. “It doesn’t bring peace closer, it brings it further. There is nothing productive about it. There is nothing constructive about it. So, at the end of the day, it’s vindictive payback.” Foxman said that he feels ‘sad’ over the issue. “I think what’s so sad about it, is that this is a President’s empty, vindictive gesture, which undermines any hope for a legacy of a man that seriously tried to bring the parties together for peace,” Foxman said regarding Obama. “He knows the UN. He knows why for 50 years the U.S. stood to defend Israel against the bias and bigotry. He knows what (outgoing UN Secretary General) Ban Ki-moon said last week that it is a biased organization. He knows that there were no peace negotiations without settlements before 1967. He knows about Gaza. He knows all these things and still instructed, in such a callous manner, not even to inform the Israelis before the vote how he will vote.” [JewishInsider• Outraged US Jewish leaders: UN vote tarnishes Obama’s legacy [ToI]

HOW IT PLAYED: U.S. declines to veto U.N. Security Council resolution for Israel to stop Jewish settlement activity [WashPost] • Rebuffing Israel, U.S. Allows Censure Over Settlements [NYTimes] • Condemnations and Commendation for Obama at UN [JewishInsider] • Schumer Blasts Obama Admin., U.N. After Resolution Accuses Israel of Violating International Law [NY1] • Obama faces blowback on UN-Israel vote [NYPost] • UNSC Resolution on Israeli Settlements Sends Shockwaves Through U.S. Jewish Community [Haaretz• Hebrew Media Review: Barack bids Bibi a nasty farewell [ToI] Gil Hoffman: Obama flunks Israeli politics 101 [JPost]

DISPATCH FROM JERUSALEM -- “Netanyahu blasts U.N., Obama over West Bank settlements resolution” by Ruth Eglash and Carol Morello: “Netanyahu compared Obama to former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, whom he called hostile to Israel and the last president to break with U.S. commitments to support the state… Netanyahu balanced his harsh words about Obama with his most explicit statement yet in enthusiastic anticipation of Obama’s successor, Donald Trump… For the first time since the U.S. election, Netanyahu stated clearly that he looked forward to working with Trump, “to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.”” [WashPost; Haaretz]  

"Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu Summons U.S. Ambassador in Protest at U.N. Resolution" by Rory Jones: "Israel expressed its consternation to U.S. ambassador Daniel Shapiro at a meeting in the prime minister’s office, insisting the resolution wouldn’t help to bring Israelis and Palestinians together for talks, according to an Israeli official... “Acts such as these hinder peace and [do] not promote it. That was the message,” said another Israeli official... A spokesman for the prime minister’s office declined to comment further on the content of the discussion between Messrs. Netanyahu and Shapiro." [WSJ• Netanyahu seeks to rally Israelis around him in anti-Obama assault [Reuters

PM’s spokesman David Keyes on Fox News: “I think what we’re seeing is an abandonment of Israel, and an abandonment of a long-standing American policy… We have rather ironclad information from sources in both the Arab world and internationally that this was a deliberate push by the United States and in fact they helped create the resolution in the first place.” [FoxNews]

HEARD THIS MORNING -- Ambassador Ron Dermer on CNN's New Day: 
"What is outrageous is that the U.S. was actually behind that gang up. I think it was a very sad day and really a shameful chapter in the U.S.-Israel relations... We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels. If they want to share it with the American people they are welcome to do it." [Facebook]

THIS IS FAR FROM OVER: “Jerusalem worried Obama may take other problematic steps” by Herb Keinon: “Among the concerns is that US Secretary of State John Kerry will deliver a final speech on the Mideast, laying down the Obama administration’s parameters for reaching a two-state solution, which may then be translated into an additional resolution being brought to the UN Security Council… Another possible place… will be at a scheduled Mideast peace conference that France is now scheduling for January 15 in Paris, just five days before Obama leaves office… Jerusalem, meanwhile, is in contact with US President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, in an apparent effort to fend off further moves from the Obama administration in its final days in power. This effort is being spearheaded by Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer.” [JPost; ToI

-- “It was such a fear about the foreign ministers’ meeting in Paris that led Netanyahu to instruct his ministers to avoid public statements to the media about launching a wave of settlement construction or annexing parts of the West Bank in response to Friday’s Security Council resolution. “The effort now is to see how to prevent such a move at the Paris conference,” the senior official said.” [Haaretz

David Horovitz: "Netanyahu goes to war with the world: 
We rightly condemn boycotts. Now Netanyahu is instituting them. For all his fury at the perfidy of the international community, his sense of grievance and injustice, the question he must be asked is whether this is going to work." [ToI]

"Israel Wonders How Long Netanyahu Can Back Settlements and Two-State Solution" by Isabel Kershner: 
"Now, with the stinging United Nations Security Council resolution on Friday condemning Israeli settlement construction as lacking any legal validity, Israeli politicians and analysts on the right, on the left and in the political center say Mr. Netanyahu’s game may soon be up... But some Israelis were skeptical that Mr. Netanyahu, in his third consecutive term in office, and fourth over all, would choose one side over the other." [NYTimes]

BIPARTISAN REACTION TO OBAMA -- Democrats scorch Obama over UN vote condemning Israeli settlements” by Jeremy Berke: “Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said it was "extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding" that the Obama administration failed to veto the UN's vote… Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, called the US's abstention from the vote "unconscionable." … Rep. Eliot L. Engel, a Democrat from New York and the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he was "very disappointed" by the US's "acquiescence to a one-sided, biased resolution."” [BI; TheHill

WEEKEND EDITORIALS -- WSJ: “Obama’s Anti-Israel Tantrum” [WSJ] • Daily News: “Obama shafts Israel… What a nice Chanukah gift from Obama to the people of Israel.” [NYDN] • WashPost: “The Obama administration fires a dangerous parting shot” [WashPost] • NYPost: “Obama’s appalling UN betrayal… What a profoundly sad — and dangerous — legacy” [NYPost]

-- ALTERNATIVE EDITORIAL -- Haaretz: “Saving Israel From Itself… Even Netanyahu’s reliance on President-elect Donald Trump will not save Israel from the abyss.” [Haaretz

Dennis Ross: “President Obama has been against Israel settlements since taking office: If there is one issue on which the President has been consistent vis-à-vis Israel, it has been settlement construction in the territories that Israel occupied after the 1967 war… Perhaps, President Obama felt this resolution was more balanced. Truth be told, resolutions in international forum about Israel are rarely, if ever, balanced… Making the concept of blocs and swaps harder to implement is probably not the legacy President Obama wants, and yet it may be one he has just made more likely.” [NYDN

David Greenfield: “This is in large part why so many pro-Israel voters abandoned the Democratic party and voted Republican this year. As a Democrat, I'm appalled by his actions but take comfort in knowing that we still have many friends in the Democratic party.” [Facebook] • Eli Lake: “A lot of Jewish Democrats telling me privately that they are disgusted and ashamed of POTUS and John Kerry" [Twitter]

Jewish Journal’s David Suissa: “Obama throws Israel to the wolves: That’s quite a double whammy for his legacy—he harms the peace process, and he harms Israel. For Jews who love Israel and who love Obama, that’s a lot to swallow.” [JewishJournal

VIEW FROM TRUMP TOWER -- Trump Tweets: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th… The big loss yesterday for Israel in the United Nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace. Too bad, but we will get it done anyway!” [Twitter

“Humbled Netanyahu Places Hopes in Trump” by Josef Federman: “It remains unclear what Trump might be able to do. While he will be able to wield the U.S. veto to prevent further action against Israel in the council, mustering enough votes to overturn Friday's decision appears to be impossible.” [AP

“U.S. Transition Puts Israeli Focus Back on Palestinians” by Peter Baker: “Israeli leaders have used American pressure as an excuse to avoid doing something they really don’t want to do but are being pressured to do by coalition members,” said Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former American ambassador to Israel teaching at Princeton University. If Mr. Trump advances views to the right of Mr. Netanyahu, “this will put the Prime Minister in an awkward position with no excuses for not doing what right-wingers want him to do,” Mr. Kurtzer said… “Others suggested that nuanced diplomacy by Mr. Trump could help Mr. Netanyahu. While the right may press for more settlement construction, the Trump administration could endorse keeping any new housing within established blocs, said Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “That would be a major victory for Netanyahu,” Mr. Satloff said. “And if linked to real suspension of growth outside the blocs, it may even advance Israeli ties with Sunnis.” [NYTimes

Alan Dershowitz: “Trump was right to try to stop Obama: Had the lame duck president not tried to tie the incoming president’s hands, Trump would not have intervened at this time. But if he had not urged the Egyptians to withdraw the resolution, he would have made it far more difficult for himself to try to bring about a negotiated resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” [JPost] • Dershowitz on Fox & Friends this morning: "It's the most undemocratic thing a president can do, to tie the hands of his successor" [Video]

Alon Pinkas: “Netanyahu’s self-righteousness that this resolution is going to be changed or reversed by Trump is totally unfounded. If he really thinks this can happen, then either he is panicking or plainly misleading.” [WashPost

Michael Eisenberg: "In Bibi’s Kindergarten: Israelis should not be sanguine about this. This is a large misstep, one born of government hubris and ministerial infantile behavior. You cannot taunt the President of the United States while he is still in the White House just like you can’t lecture him in the Oval Office." [Medium]

Elliott Abrams and Michael Singh: “Peace in the Middle East will not be accomplished through a U.N. vote. Rather, it will require renewed U.S. leadership in the region and the rebuilding of relationships of trust with all of our partners there. This is where the next administration should start.” [WashPost

ON THE HILL -- “Graham: Defund UN after Israeli settlement vote” by Elise Labott and Eugene Scott: "It's that important to me," he told CNN. "This is a road we haven't gone down before. If you can't show the American people that international organizations can be more responsible, there is going to be a break. And I am going to lead that break." "I will do everything in my power, working with the new administration and Congress, to leave no doubt about where America stands when it comes to the peace process and where we stand with the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel," Graham added… Graham traveled to New York last week to discuss the resolution with António Guterres, the next UN Secretary General, and he spent the past week lobbying members of the Security Council not to support the UN vote. The South Carolina Republican also talked to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Trump's pick for ambassador to the United Nations, about the resolution. "The settlement issue is no doubt an issue," Graham told CNN. "But this is not the way. We abandoned Israel."

-- “He hopes to create leverage for Trump to deal with the United Nations on the issue when the President-elect takes office. "Trump is a good negotiator. Let's see if this give him some leverage," he said, adding if the world body overturned the measure, the UN "has got a chance to reset and let the new administration restart the peace process." [CNN]  

Ted Cruz: “Spoke with Israeli PM Netanyahu tonight to wish him Happy Chanukah & assure him of strong support in Congress. No US $ for UN until reversed.” [Twitter

KAFE KNESSET -- by Tal Shalev: The fallout from Resolution 2443 took over the Knesset today, as various party leaders used their weekly faction meetings to share their opinions on the UNSC decision and the Prime Minister's harsh diplomatic reaction. Fearing future repercussions, Netanyahu resisted the loud calls from his right wing base to immediately announce a massive wave of building in the settlements and promote legislation that would apply Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, and is trying to postpone any declarative moves until after the Trump inauguration. Instead, he launched a diplomatic blitz on the US and other Security Council members, summoning their ambassadors for reprimands (on Christmas Day!) and announcing a temporary reduction in diplomatic ties. The idea is to emphasize that Israel is angry. Very angry. Read today's entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

TRANSITION TOWER -- “Trump Names Jason Greenblatt Representative for International Negotiations” by Peter Grant: “Mr. Greenblatt, who has worked for the Trump Organization for two decades, served during the campaign as one of Mr. Trump’s top advisers on U.S.-Israel relations. He spent most of his career as a lawyer and doesn’t have extensive experience in foreign policy.” [WSJ; JI

-- “A source familiar with the appointment told CNN that Greenblatt will primarily will be working on Israel-Palestinian peace process, the American relationship with Cuba and trade agreements.” [CNN]

"Trump's pick for ambassador to Israel has all sides on edge" by Josh Lederman:
"The bankruptcy lawyer and son of an Orthodox rabbi is everything Obama is not: a fervent supporter of Israeli settlements, opponent of Palestinian statehood and unrelenting defender of Israel's government. So far to the right is Friedman that even many Israel supporters worry he could push Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be more extreme, scuttling prospects for peace with Palestinians in the process." [AP]

"Trump taps aide Stephen Miller to write inaugural address" by Shane Goldmacher: "Trump and his top advisers have begun mapping out the themes for his inaugural address next month, as the president-elect has tapped Stephen Miller, his incoming senior White House adviser for policy, to write the historic speech... The choice of Miller, the 31-year-old who wrote most of Trump's major prepared speeches in 2016, including his Republican national convention address that was criticized as overly dark, is of no surprise to Trump insiders. Miller played an unusually multi-faceted role on the campaign: a behind-the-scenes policy adviser, Trump's chief speechwriter and a speech-giver himself, becoming a skinny-tie-wearing fixture over the summer at Trump rallies as a warm-up act." [Politico]

“Kissinger, a longtime Putin confidant, sidles up to Trump” by Nahal Toosi and Isaac Arnsdorf: “Sources familiar with the transition effort say the Manhattan real estate mogul is fascinated by Kissinger… Associates of Kissinger also are in touch with others in the Trump orbit. One top Kissinger aide, Thomas Graham, is being floated among lower-level transition interlocutors as a potential ambassador to Russia, according to a source familiar with the conversations… A person familiar with the Trump team's national security planning warned against reading too much into the Trump-Kissinger relationship.” [Politico]

2018 WATCH -- "Is he good for the Jews? Md. Gov. Larry Hogan sure is trying to convince them" by Robert McCartney: 
"On Friday, before the dinner, he lunched with Jewish leaders in Rockville and visited a Jewish school there. On Sunday, the governor was to host a Hanukkah party at his Annapolis residence. Joked the rabbi: “And on Monday, I’m taking him to the mikvah,” the ritual bath used for, among other purposes, conversions to the Jewish faith. Hogan, a Roman Catholic, won’t be switching religions. But he is seeking to capitalize on a trade and cultural mission to Israel in September with a series of events that could help him win over traditionally Democratic Jewish voters and strengthen his chances of reelection in 2018. Analysts say the governor, whose approval rating halfway through his first term in office is about 70 percent, has an especially good opportunity to pick up support in Montgomery’s Jewish electorate." [WashPost

** Good Monday 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 **

STARTUP NATION: “Snap reportedly acquired augmented reality startup Cimagine Media for up to $40 million” by Ken Yeung: “Snap has reportedly made an investment in augmented reality, purchasing the Israeli-based startup Cimagine Media… Founded four years ago, Cimagine specializes in computer vision, real-time image processing, mobile development, international marketing, and more. All of these are obviously compelling for Snap, whose app Snapchat is heavily reliant on augmented reality and the like. But what Cimagine brings to the table is a focus on commerce and as Snap looks towards going public perhaps some time next year, it’s quite possible that doing facilitating shopping through Snapchat might open up additional revenue opportunities.” [VB

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Armed protest planned for Whitefish” by David Winter: “ABC Fox Montana has learned that the racist website, The Daily Stormer, is organizing an armed protest through the streets of Whitefish. This is in response to the controversy surrounding white nationalist Richard Spencer, his mother, and human rights advocates in the area.” [ABCFoxMontana

SPORTS BLINK: "Tragedy Made Steve Kerr See the World Beyond the Court" by John Branch:
 “I remember when the Camp David accords happened,” Kerr said, recalling the 1978 peace talks between Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt, shepherded by President Jimmy Carter. Kerr had just entered his teens... “One of my best friends was a guy named David Zuckerman, a Jewish guy, and his father was an English professor,” Kerr said. Mr. Zuckerman’s name was Marvin, and my dad said: ‘Marvin, Marvin! Did you see the picture today of Begin and Sadat?’ It was the biggest thing. It would have been the equivalent of the Dodgers winning the World Series. He was so excited for that moment because that is what he really hoped for: Middle East peace. That was his dream. That day, I’ll never forget it.”" [NYTimes]

"NBA’s Adam Silver advises against a player boycott of Trump White House" by Mike Wise: "The head of North America’s most racially-conscious league listened as NBA players and coaches vented publicly about the election of Donald Trump and a possible boycott by an entire team. Now, he weighs in: “To me, if a player were to choose not to go to the White House, whether they were choosing not to go to the current White House or a future White House, my response would be: ‘That’s a lost opportunity,’ ” Silver said. “Because that’s an opportunity that most citizens who have a political point of view would kill for — the opportunity to directly tell the president of the United States how they feel about an issue." [TheUndefeated]

MEDIA WATCH -- "Jewish media must be an integral part of strong local and national Jewish life" by Alan Abbey: "A quick review I did of major Jewish media in the weeks since the 2016 US Presidential election found numerous probing articles about Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson, Ambassador-to-Israel selection David Friedman, and others, questioning Trump’s actual policies... Jewish Insider, Shmuel Rosner of Jewish Journal, JTA, Forward, The Jewish Week, and others have reported on concerns about Tillerson and the policy implications of naming Friedman... New ideas, support, and funding are needed if Jewish media are to rise to the occasion and take on the issues pinpointed in Kampeas’ essay and to have the energy to cover both the entertaining “fluff” of where Ivanka and Jared will go on Shabbat, as well as the numerous challenges facing America." [Medium

"Ivanka Trump and husband celebrate Hanukkah in Hawaii" by Daniel Halper: 
"Future first daughter Ivanka Trump is celebrating Hanukkah in Hawaii with her family. Trump shared a picture of herself, with husband Jared Kushner and their three kids, celebrating the first night of the Jewish holiday from their vacationing spot in Hawaii... “This year is one of the rare and special occasions where Hanukkah and Christmas coincide. Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah! #happyholidays, she said on Twitter." [NYPost; Pic

BIRTHDAYS: French singer and night-club impresaria, whose chain of eponymous night clubs, Chez Régine, once reached 25 clubs across three continents, Régine Zylberberg turns 87... Chief Parliamentarian of the United States Senate for 18 years (out of a total of 35 years in the Senate Parliamentarian's Office), Alan Frumin turns 70... Senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, previously Chief Economist to VPOTUS Joe Biden (2009-2011), Jared Bernstein turns 61... Manager of New School Development at Hebrew Public, a national movement of  public charter schools that teach Modern Hebrew, Kay Lodge... AIPAC's Associate Director for Westchester County (NY) and Riverdale, Zoe Bernstein... Eli Schechner ... Fred Heim...

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