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Jewish Insider | Daily Kickoff
September 16th, 2020
👋 Good Wednesday morning!

President Donald Trump is hosting his annual pre-High Holidays conference call with rabbis and Jewish community leaders today. The Biden campaign will hold its pre-Rosh Hashanah call on Thursday. 

Trump’s reelection campaign is launching a Jewish outreach team aimed at promoting the administration’s record on Israel and efforts to combat rising antisemitism. Jewish Voices for Trump will be co-chaired by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, along with Republican Jewish Coalition board member Wayne Berman, former Trump White House aide Boris Epshteyn and Julie Strauss Levin, wife of TV and radio personality Mark Levin. Read more here

A new study released today by the Claims Conference reveals that 10% of young adults in America believe Jews caused the Holocaust, and two-thirds do not know that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. 

More than a dozen rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel over the past day, beginning during the White House ceremony yesterday. Two Israelis were wounded — including a father of 15 handing out food to the needy. The IDF struck sites in Gaza in response. 

Spread the word! Invite your friends to sign up and earn JI swag through our ambassador program (scroll to the end for more info). 👇

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Dawn of peace

Trump heralds ‘new Middle East’ at festive signing ceremony

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour
President Donald Trump hailed the peace deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain yesterday as “the dawn of a new Middle East” that “sets history on a new course.” Standing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain, Trump proclaimed: “These agreements prove that the nations of the region are breaking free from the failed approaches of the past.” Netanyahu called it “a pivot of history” that “heralds a new dawn of peace.”

Fine print: The deal signed with the UAE expresses a desire to establish diplomatic and economic ties on a variety of issues and for the establishment of embassies between the two countries. It also includes a call for “a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The text of the Bahrain deal, which is less detailed, vows to establish “full diplomatic relations” and seek future agreements in a variety of areas. 

Looking ahead: In remarks in both the Oval Office and at the ceremony on the White House’s South Lawn yesterday, Trump indicated that around five other Arab or Muslim countries may soon join the fold and normalize relations with Israel. Speaking with reporters before departing to Philadelphia, Trump suggested that Saudi Arabia — which has recently toned down its rhetoric on Israel — is on a similar path and will come along “in the right time.”  

Credit due: David Makovsky, a former peace negotiator and currently the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute, told JI the significance of this moment is that the UAE wants warm peace with Israel, whereas in the past, peace with an Arab state would be “grudging.” Makovsky posited that the Emiratis understood they are “at their point of optimal leverage,” because Trump is facing an uphill reelection battle, “and to gain a Middle East achievement, he will pay top dollar, including the F-35 jets.” By signing this deal, Makovsky added, the UAE believes it is also buying “political risk insurance, with the possible change in focus in a post-Trump era. And they get the bonus of saying, ‘We're the ones who buried annexation.’ I give the Trump administration credit that they picked up on it and they ran with it, but it is the Emirates that made the shift.” 

Down but not out: Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan insisted that Netanyahu hasn’t given up on his initial plan to annex parts of the West Bank in the future, pointing to the language the UAE foreign minister used in his remarks about “halting” annexation. “I spoke with the prime minister and I know we never gave up on applying sovereignty,” he told JI. “Everyone understands that when we want to extend [Israeli] sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, we need the support and the cooperation of the American administration, and right now they have decided what their priorities are.” 

What Democrats are saying: Jewish Insider’s Marc Rod spoke with several Democratic members of Congress about the new developments. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), who attended the event, was hopeful that this “historic deal is a harbinger of things to come," including peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Schneider pointed out that while Trump deserves credit for this step forward, “it took years to build” and the deals don’t “diminish” the risks Israel is still facing from an emboldened Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon and “under Trump, Iran is closer to nukes.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) applauded the agreements, telling JI: “I hope that these first steps are followed by further efforts to normalize relations within the region and to work toward a two-state solution that will ensure a lasting and secure peace.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said, “I’m always glad to see steps toward peace.” 

Word from Biden: In a statement released late last night, Biden said, “It is good to see others in the Middle East recognizing Israel and even welcoming it as a partner. A Biden-Harris administration will build on these steps, challenge other nations to keep pace, and work to leverage these growing ties into progress toward a two-state solution and a more stable, peaceful region.” 

Key to power: At the start of their Oval Office meeting, Trump presented Netanyahu with a ceremonial gold key as “a special token of affection… It’s a key to our country and to our hearts. And you’ve been an amazing leader for a long period of time.” Netanyahu responded in kind: “You have the key to the hearts of the people of Israel because of all the great things you’ve done for the Jewish state and the Jewish people.” 

Read more here.

Bonus: The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg breaks down the winners and losers of the Abraham Accords. Among the winners — the White House marketers, the makers of the F-35, the Israelis, the four countries' leaders, Jared Kushner, Yousef Al Otaiba and Ron Dermer. Goldberg’s losers are the Iranian leadership and the Palestinians.

On Location

Who’s who at the White House South Lawn ceremony

A varied range of elected officials, foreign diplomats and Jewish leaders were on hand yesterday to witness the historic signing of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House.

The South Lawn was divided into three sections: Around 150 VIPs up front, another 600 general attendees behind them and the media along with administration staffers on the side.  

In the VIP section, cabinet members posed for photos and mingled with dignitaries, members of Congress, Trump campaign officials and donors. Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair was seen chatting with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft, and Charlie Kushner. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Dina Powell McCormick greeted the U.N. ambassadors from the UAE and Bahrain, Lana Nusseibeh and Jamal Faris Al-Rowaie. Haim Saban, a guest of the Emiratis, was schmoozing with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and his wife, Jill Weinstock Deutch. Israel’s new U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan was making the rounds, chatting at one point with investor Sander Gerber. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was seen in the background of Fox News snapping a photo of Attorney General Bill Barr posing with Jewish Insider wine columnist Yitz Applbaum. Trump campaign official Boris Epshteyn and pollster Frank Luntz were heard trading election predictions. 

Officials present included: House Democrats Eliot Engel (D-NY), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Elaine Luria (D-VA), Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Anthony Brindisi (D-NY); Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Jewish GOP Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and David Kustoff (R-TN); Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Rob Portman (R-OH), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AR); Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, State Department’s Morgan Ortagus and Peter Berkowitz, outgoing envoy on Iran Brian Hook, USAID’s Bonnie Glick, Justice Department’s Makim Delrahim and the Treasury Department’s Mitch Silk and David Eisner. 

Other attendees included: Former Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Norm Coleman (R-MN), Bahrain’s former Ambassador to the U.S. Houda Nonoo, Avi Berkowitz, Jason Greenblatt, Victoria Coates, Tom Rose, Ken Weinstein, Aryeh Lightstone, Paul Packer, Jon Lerner, Martin Indyk, William Daroff, Malcolm Hoenlein, Arthur Stark, Elan Carr, Ellie Cohanim, Safra Catz, Howard Kohr, Betsy Berns Korn, Howard Friedman, Elliot Brandt, Mark Wilf, Richard Sandler, Eric Fingerhut, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, Todd Ricketts, Aryeh Bourkoff, Ken Kurson, Rob Satloff, Mark Dubowitz, Cliff May, Michael Makovsky, David Makovsky, Michael David Epstein, Bob Book, Chaim Deutsch, Phil Rosen, Nick Muzin, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Harold Rhode, Tevi Troy, Joseph Meyer, Josh Block, Yitz Tendler, Mort Klein, Rabbi Marc Schneier, Sol Werdiger, Marc Goldman, Moshe Bane, Nathan Diament, Jerry Wolasky, Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Rabbi Steven Burg, Nachman Mostovsky, Eytan Laor, David Milstein, Dana Brody, Mark Levin, Jake Gerber, Jeff Ballabon, Omri Ceren, Ralph Herzka, Israel Maimon, Carl Schwartz, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Mark Weitzman, Sarah Idan, Joel Eisdorfer, Caroline Glick, Sean Weisbord, Jonathan Burkan, Dov Hikind, Eli Beer, Paul Teller, Trudy and Stanley Stern, Shmuley Boteach, Stuart Weinblatt, Yarden Golan and Roee Snir. 

table talk

A kosher food magazine thrives amid a boom in home cooking

Shlomo and Shifra Klein 
The novel coronavirus has rattled nearly every industry imaginable, but food publishing, at least, appears to have been so far unscathed as home cooks seek out new tips and recipes while largely confined to their kitchens. Fleishigs, a kosher food magazine gaining popularity, has been one beneficiary of the uptick in culinary enthusiasm, Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel reports

Riding the wave: The publication has taken on about 1,000 new subscribers since mid-March, when many cities around the country began to go into lockdown. That’s a “nice jump,” according to Shlomo Klein, who founded the monthly print publication with his wife, Shifra, in November 2018. As one result of the lockdown, “there were definitely a lot more people cooking,” Klein told JI in a recent phone interview from his home in Cedarhurst, N.Y., which doubles as the magazine’s headquarters.

Tips for the holidays: The most recent issue, beautifully photographed, features a number of creative Rosh Hashanah dishes, including soy-braised veal breast, brisket-stuffed challah and baked, marzipan-stuffed apples. Klein agreed to share the recipe for his wife’s Montreal-spiced braised brisket, along with brisket cooking tips, for JI readers who are looking to get innovative for the Jewish new year. 

Ecumenical approach: The name Fleishigs is a reference to the Jewish dietary term that encompasses meat preparation, in contrast to dairy-based milchig cuisine. But Klein avers that the magazine’s name need not turn away a non-Jewish audience. “I would describe it as a food and travel magazine that just happens to be kosher,” he said, adding that the publication is exclusively kosher but that the dishes in each issue are just as relevant to a non-kosher lifestyle. “Obviously we do have kosher consumers or Jewish people buying it, but it's definitely not only Jewish people.”

Read the full interview here.
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Webcast: Join the American Jewish Committee today at 10:30 a.m. ET for "History in the Making: The Interreligious Breakthrough Paralleling the UAE-Israel Accord"

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🔍 Online Oversight: In Bloomberg, Bruce Einhorn explores how the $19 billion kosher market has faced challenges amid the pandemic, with kosher inspectors forced to conduct virtual visits of Chinese factories — and already deeply concerned about Passover production. [Bloomberg]

📰 Repeating History: James Fallows writes in The Atlantic that the American media appears to have learned nothing from the last four years, with national outlets “acting as if the rules that prevailed under previous American presidents are still in effect.” [TheAtlantic]

🗣️ Spiraling: The Daily Beast’s Spencer Ackerman spotlights Michael Scheuer — a former senior CIA official who once headed the unit to hunt for Osama Bin Laden — who has become an outspoken conspiracy theorist, government critic and inciter of violence. “The only thing I would be upset about if it came to war is that not enough Democrats would get killed,” he said in July. [DailyBeast]
Around the Web
⚖️ Facing Trial: Chicago-based Rabbi Zvi Feiner and Erez Baver have been charged in a $146 million Ponzi scheme centered around a nursing home chain. 

💸 New Goals: Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank said businesses must care about “people, profit and planet” at the same time. 

🏚️ Tenant Anger: Kushner Companies is being sued by a group of New York City tenants alleging dangerous living conditions in four buildings. 

💍 Matchmaker: In The New York Times, columnist Tom Friedman likens Jared Kushner to a matchmaker, bringing Mrs. Israel and Mr. Emirates — who recently left an abusive marriage to Ms. Iran — together in a marriage ceremony conducted on the South Lawn.

🚢 Port Partners: Dubai-based DP World is reportedly planning to make a joint bid with Israel Shipyards Industries Ltd. for the port of Haifa.

💸 Big Business: Israeli couple Barr Moses and Lior Gavish have raised $16 million for their data reliability platform Monte Carlo.

📸 Cleared: A special committee hired by Kodak found that a gift of 3 million shares by board member George Karfunkel to Congregation Chemdas Yisroel in Brooklyn did not violate federal law.

🤳 Calling Out: The Justice Department has ordered the Al Jazeera media network’s social media division in the U.S. to register as a foreign agent since it is controlled by Qatar. 

📺 In Court: Alan Dershowitz has filed a $300 million libel suit against CNN, alleging the network quoted him out of context speaking about Trump’s impeachment. 

🛫 Early Departure: U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Cornstein is stepping down from his position in November. 

🧱 Projecting Peace: The walls outside the Old City of Jerusalem have become a political canvas for messaging by both Palestinians and Israelis amid the recent Israel-UAE accord.  

Playing Ball: The Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, which has been embroiled in multiple anti-Arab racism scandals, is in talks to secure a large investment from a UAE businessman.   

🎥 On the Move: The Israeli soccer reality show “Goalstar” is slated to film its next season in the UAE. 

🎓 Giving Back: Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner and his wife, Julia, have donated $10 million to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to support Israeli MBA students. 

🕍 Deal Reached: The town of Woodcliff Lake in New Jersey is seeking to settle a discrimination lawsuit by allowing Valley Chabad to expand its property and will pay it $1.5 million in damages.

🗳️ Future Reservation: The Working Families Party begins a campaign on its own behalf for New York voters to select candidates on its ballot line in November in order to retain its ballot line spot.

🇩🇪 Speaking Out: At a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Central Council of Jews in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced the “disgrace” of growing antisemitism.

🚧 Preserving History: The historic Langside Synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland, has been granted official protection to prevent the building from being destroyed by developers. 

🖥️ Media Watch: Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire is relocating its headquarters from Los Angeles to Nashville. 

🥯 Royal Schmear: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, visited the Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery in London yesterday, and chatted with co-founder Amnon Cohen. 

📦 Hole in One: More than 5,000 bagels were flown from Montreal to Edmonton for a BBYO fundraiser this week. 

🥪 Open and Shut: The Wise Sons Jewish deli has opened its first location in Oakland, Calif., while the Beetroot Jewish deli in Portland, Oregon, is shutting down permanently after a year in operation. 

🐑 Table Manners: A provocative new vegan ad — the first of its kind in Israel — debuted this week, featuring a live lamb while a voiceover asks viewers to “make the connection” between animals and the food they eat.
Jacob Kornbluh
Following the Abraham Accords signing ceremony, a large minyan assembled on the South Lawn for mincha prayers, as U.S. Ambassador-designate to Japan Ken Weinstein used his mask as a temporary kippah.  
Israeli actress who plays the lead role in the spy thriller "Tehran," Niv Sultan turns 28...

Former defense policy advisor to Presidents Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43, Richard Perle turns 79… Montebello, Calif., resident, Jon Olesen turns 76… Pompano Beach, Fla., resident, Shari Goldberg turns 75… Sheriff of Nantucket County, Massachusetts, Jim Perelman turns 70... Founder and CEO of OurCrowd, Jonathan Medved turns 65... Ads consultant, Fern Wallach turns 64... Award-winning illusionist, David Copperfield turns 64... Anthropologist, Jonathan Boyarin turns 64... Former VP of political affairs for J Street, Dan Kohl turns 55...

Rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Rabbi Dov Linzer turns 54... Contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and a correspondent for GQ, Jason Zengerle turns 47... Israel's only Olympic Gold medalist (to date), windsurfer Gal Fridman turns 45... Jerusalem-born founder and chairman of "Over The Rainbow - the Zionist Movement," Tziki Avisar turns 42... VP of public affairs marketing at Facebook, Josh Ginsberg turns 38... General manager of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, Koby Altman turns 38... Account executive at RubiconMD, Suzy Goldenkranz turns 34... NYC-based banking reporter at The Wall Street Journal, Rachel Louise Ensign turns 32... West Coast regional director at the Israel on Campus Coalition, Lauren Morgan Suriel...
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