Letter Based on Lie That Democrats Were Not Invited to Embassy Opening
Washington D.C. (May 31, 2018) – The Republican Jewish Coalition today called on Congressional Democrats to withdraw their letter to Amb. David Friedman, the American ambassador to Israel, in which they complained of not being invited to the opening ceremony for the American embassy in Jerusalem earlier this month.
RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said:
The letter signed by Reps. Eliot Engel, Ted Deutch, Tom Suozzi and others is predicated on lies and is a shallow attempt to score political points by making it appear that Democrats were not invited to participate in the embassy opening ceremony when, in fact, they were.
There was no formal White House invitation to any member of Congress; instead, there were official Senate and House congressional delegations (CODELs) open to members of Congress and a significant number of Democrats were specifically invited to participate in the CODELs.
Rep. Joe Wilson, who organized the House delegation, personally invited Rep. Eliot Engel to attend. Engel declined to participate because of a previous commitment. Rep. Deutch declined a personal invitation to join the CODEL because of a family graduation. Rep. Suozzi declined his invitation to participate because of a family obligation.
Rep. Wilson and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who organized the Senate CODEL, made every effort to make the delegations bipartisan. Both have stated publicly that they wanted the delegations to be bipartisan in order to represent the traditionally bipartisan American support for Israel, but they were rebuffed by the Democrats that they reached out to.
Rep. Engel and the other signatories to that letter - who declined specific invitations to join the CODEL to Jerusalem – had the nerve to write that they “would deeply regret if the government of Israel was left with the impression that Democratic lawmakers chose not to attend the event.” What a shameful act of chutzpah. They stooped very low to undermine this historic event and to embarrass Amb. David Friedman, who is serving ably to represent the United States in Israel.
Moreover, these Democrats have let down the American Jewish community and the American people, who support Israel overwhelmingly and who deserved to be represented at the embassy opening by a bipartisan, united group of their elected representatives.
We call on Rep. Engel, Rep. Deutch, Rep. Suozzi, and their colleagues who signed this reprehensible letter to publicly withdraw the letter and apologize.
Democrats' Letter to Amb. Friedman (Jewish Insider)
Statements by Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz(Times of Israel)
Statement by Representative Joe Wilson (Twitter)