RJC to Pres. Obama: Remember Your Commitment to Israel

"If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing."
Barack Obama, Remarks in Sderot, New York Times, July 23, 2008
Washington, D.C. (July 29, 2014) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) released the following statement today:

Last week it was revealed that Hamas planned a major terrorist attack for the Rosh Hashana holiday this September, in which hundreds of terrorists would exit Hamas tunnels very near Israeli kibbutzim and towns to kidnap and kill thousands of Israelis. Clearly the tunnels represent an immediate, serious threat to Israeli civilians. For that reason, Israel is determined to eliminate the tunnels before ending its operations in Gaza.

We were deeply disappointed by President Obama's call on Sunday for an "immediate, unconditional, humanitarian" ceasefire, which followed on the heels of Secretary of State Kerry's ceasefire proposal. That proposal ignored Israeli security needs while giving legitimacy to Hamas. It seems the administration is focused on pressing Israel to halt hostilities without recognizing Israel's imperative need to end the threat of the terrorist tunnels. This comes in distinct contradiction to President Obama's previous statements about Israel's security.

President Obama has spoken frequently in support of Israel's right of self-defense, and did so even before taking office. In 2008, on a visit to Sderot in southern Israel, then-candidate Obama said:

The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if -- I don't even care if I was a politician. If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.

...I will work from the moment that I return to America, to tell the story of Sderot and to make sure that the good people who live here are enjoying a future of peace and security and hope.

...What I think that Israel has to do is to make sure that that peace is not purchased at -- by putting Israel's security at risk. And it's the job of the United States I think, to make sure that that peace is centered and promotes Israel's long-term security.
Source: New York Times, July 23, 2008

Israel is at war with an implacable enemy, one that has victimized its own people and kept them in poverty in order to build terrorist tunnels and stockpile weapons in hopes of killing thousands of Israeli civilians. Israel is determined to destroy Hamas' capability to carry out its heinous agenda. Any ceasefire that forces Israel to stop short of that goal is indeed purchasing only a temporary ceasefire at the cost of Israel's long-term security.

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RJC: Don't Play Politics with Iron Dome Funding

Washington, D.C. (July 25, 2014) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) released the following statement today:

The RJC welcomes Senator Mitch McConnell’s efforts to make the Senate’s proposed $225 million supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome program a stand-alone bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has bundled the Iron Dome assistance with a bill that provides further funding for efforts to deal with the flood of illegal immigrants coming in from Latin America. Senate Republicans believe that such a bill must include changes to the 2008 trafficking law that would allow the administration to more quickly process and deport newly-arrived illegal immigrants. But Reid has signaled that he will not allow such an amendment to have a vote.

Regrettably, the Senate needs more time to come to terms on how best to address the border crisis, but Israel is at war today. With the Senate scheduled to recess for a month at the end of next week, the funding for Iron Dome should be expedited. Harry Reid should not play politics with Iron Dome funding. He especially should not attempt to use Republicans’ strong support for Israel’s security as a political weapon against them in the immigration fight. Rather, the Senate should proceed quickly on the Iron Dome funding, where there is consensus.

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RJC: CNN Poll Confirms "Israel Gap" - More Republicans Support Israel Than Democrats

A new CNN poll asked Americans for their opinion of Israel's action against Hamas in Gaza.

The results demonstrated the "Israel Gap" between Republicans and Democrats: "Forty-five percent of Democrats questioned said that Israeli's military actions in Gaza are justified. That number jumps to 56% among independents and 73% among Republicans."

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RJC: Obama’s Iran Nuke Talks Impasse Shows Need for Strong Action By Congress

Washington, D.C. (July 21, 2014) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) warned today that the Obama administration’s failure to reach an agreement with Iran during six months of negotiations threatens the security of the U.S. and our allies. Despite White House opposition, this latest setback should convince Congress to press ahead with legislation that would strengthen the hands of U.S. negotiators by imposing stronger sanctions on the Tehran regime if no agreement is reached.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said:

After President Obama pressured Democrats in Congress to block bipartisan sanctions bills, Iran responded by pocketing billions in sanctions relief and stonewalling at the negotiating table for the last six months. Now Obama is rewarding Iran with $2.8 billion in additional sanctions relief and extending the talks until late November. The Obama administration’s Iran policy is failing and the costs of failure for our national security and the security of our Middle Eastern allies - especially Israel - are heavy.

Congress needs to assert itself as soon as possible. Sensible bipartisan legislation to hit Iran with stiff new sanctions if it continues defying international demands to halt its nuclear weapons efforts should move forward.

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RJC Supports Israel’s Actions in Gaza

Washington, D.C. (July 17, 2014) -- After Hamas launched more than 1200 rockets at Israel in the last ten days, Israel has begun a major offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

The Republican Jewish Coalition strongly supports Israel's actions against Hamas.

The attacks by Hamas against Israel, perpetrated from within civilian areas and using its own people as human shields, are war crimes. Their stated goal is the utter destruction of the Jewish state and its inhabitants. Israel has every right to move to a second stage of operations to put an end to these attacks.

The Israelis have shown tremendous restraint and moral strength in their implementation of Operation Protective Edge. They have destroyed military targets while doing the utmost to protect innocent civilians in Gaza. As always, Israel has worked for peace, but war has been thrust upon it once more.

We pray that Israeli forces, whether fighting by land, sea, or air, will meet their objectives and return home safely.
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RJC: "Israel Gap" Widens: More Republicans Than Democrats Support Israel in Current Conflict

Washington, D.C. (July 15, 2014) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) responded to the release of a Pew Research Center poll today on the partisan gap in Israel-Palestinian sympathies.

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RJC Stands with Israel

Israel is under fire, once again, from terrorists who seek her destruction. Hamas has sent hundreds of missiles from Gaza against Israeli civilians in recent days. These attacks are warfare against the Jewish state. The RJC unequivocally stands with Israel in this conflict.

Israel has the right to defend her citizens and is justified in taking action against Hamas. Israel targets the terrorists who attack her and makes every effort to protect the lives of non-combatants. In contrast, Hamas operates out of residential areas and encourages Palestinians to act as human shields, endangering their own brothers and sisters in their quest to destroy the Jewish state. Negotiation and accommodation with such an enemy is impossible.

We are inspired by the courage of the Israeli public and the determination of their leaders. Israel has the fortitude, the means, and the right to defend its citizens. We offer our support and our hopes for their safety and security.

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RJC Mourns the Deaths of the Three Israeli Teens

Washington, D.C. (June 30, 2014) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition is deeply saddened to learn that the three kidnapped Israeli teens are dead. RJC National Chairman David Flaum said:

On behalf of the leaders, members, and staff of the Republican Jewish Coalition, I offer our sincere condolences to the Frenkel, Shaar, and Yifrah families. Along with Jews around the world, we shared in the hope that Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal would return home safely. We are deeply saddened by the loss of the three young men.

The Israeli government made every effort to find the boys after they were kidnapped on June 12. We hope that the people responsible for their kidnapping and murder will be swiftly found and brought to justice.

May the Frenkel, Shaar, and Yifrah families be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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RJC Congratulates New House GOP Leaders

Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2014) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition congratulates the new House Republican leaders, House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said:

We congratulate Rep. McCarthy and Rep. Scalise on their new leadership roles in the House Republican caucus. They join Speaker of the House John Boehner in the important tasks of unifying House Republicans and guiding legislation through the House.

We are confident that the GOP leadership team in the House will continue to move forward on important issues, including showing support for Israel in the face of the growing threat of a nuclear Iran. House Republicans have taken the lead in proposing and supporting measures to strengthen the sanctions against Iran. They have also led efforts to fully fund U.S. aid to Israel, including the military aid that Israel spends here in the U.S.

The RJC has a unique role as the national grassroots organizations of Jewish Republicans, working with the Jewish community and Republican elected officials on the issues that matter to Jewish Republicans. We look forward to continued good relations with the House Republican leadership in the months ahead.

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RJC: We Are Proud of Cantor's Record

Washington, D.C. (June 10, 2014) -- RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks responded to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss in today's Republican primary election in Virginia:

We are disappointed that our friend Eric Cantor lost his primary race tonight, but we are proud of his many, many accomplishments in Congress. He has been a hardworking representative of his district and a trusted leader in the House. Eric's efforts have been invaluable in passing important legislation on matters of concern to his constituents and the nation. He rose quickly to a top position in the House, having earned the trust and respect of his colleagues.

Eric has been an important pro-Israel voice in the House and a leader on security issues, including Iran sanctions. We deeply appreciate his efforts to keep our country secure and to support our allies around the world.

The RJC represents the unique viewpoint of the Republican Jewish community and acts as the bridge between the Jewish community and Republican elected officials. We are proud to have worked with Eric Cantor for the last 14 years.

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