Democrats Want Obama to Put More Pressure on Israel; Republicans and Independents Disagree

New Poll Highlights Continued Move of Democrats Away from Historic Bipartisan Support for Israel

Washington, D.C. (March 19, 2013) - A new Gallup poll shows a striking difference of opinion between Republicans and Democrats on how to handle the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Democrats want President Obama to put more pressure on Israel to make compromises to end the conflict, while Republicans and Independents want the U.S. to put more pressure on the Palestinians.

According to Gallup, 64% of Republicans would like the President to put more pressure on the Palestinians, while just 15% say to put more pressure on Israel. 48% of Independents say pressure the Palestinians and 22% think the U.S. should pressure Israel. In contrast, only 34% of Democrats support more pressure on the Palestinians, but a larger share, 38%, think the U.S. should put more pressure on Israel.

This follows another Gallup poll last week showing that American support for the State of Israel is at an all-time high overall, but 78% of Republicans expressed more sympathy for Israel than for the Palestinians, while Democrats did so only 55% of the time.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, "The 'Israel gap' between Republicans and Democrats is deeply troubling for pro-Israel Americans who appreciate our country's historic bipartisan support for Israel. As rank-and-file Democrats move to the left on issues related to Israel, the divide between the two parties will widen. Pro-Israel Democratic leaders must work to rebuild stronger support for Israel within their community."

Gallup: Americans Favor More Pressure on Palestinians Than Israelis

Gallup: Americans' Sympathies for Israel Match All-Time High

RNC Report Praises RJC Outreach Efforts

Washington, D.C. - The Republican Jewish Coalition released the following statement today:

The Republican National Committee has released its report on how the Republican Party must improve after its 2012 election losses. In the section on outreach to minority groups, the report praises the significant accomplishments of the Republican Jewish Coalition. It states: "One outside group that has been particularly successful at engaging its community and increasing its Republican support is the Republican Jewish Coalition. We should incorporate some of its tactics in our efforts."

Foreign Policy Priorities Must Include Pro-Israel Actions

Thursday, March 14, 2013
By: RJC Executive Director Matthew Brooks

The strong ties between the U.S. and Israel find expression in the traditionally bipartisan support for Israel in Congress and in public opinion polls showing that the majority of American voters consistently support Israel and the U.S.-Israel alliance. However, President Obama's relationship with Israel has been rocky; his first term included a series of diplomatic snubs, policy statements, and actions regarding Israel that caused serious concern in the pro-Israel community.

RJC Grassroots Director Stepping Down; New Director Named

Washington, D.C. - Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks released the following statement today:

RJC Responds to Hagel Confirmation: Hagel Choice Sends Wrong Message to Our Allies and Adversaries

Washington, D.C. -- The Republican Jewish Coalition released the following statement about today's Senate vote on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense:

Hagel Reportedly Said US State Department Under the Control of Israel

RJC: Hagel must respond - before the Senate votes

Washington, D.C. -- The Washington Free Beacon reports that former Senator Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, allegedly said in a 2007 speech at Rutgers University that, "the [U.S] State Department is an adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister's office."

RJC Mourns Passing of Ed Koch

Brooks: "He was a patriot and we will miss him."

Washington, D.C. -- The Republican Jewish Coalition notes with deep sadness the passing of former New York Mayor Ed Koch.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, "Mayor Koch was a passionate and principled leader and an outspoken defender of Israel and the Jewish community. He chose principle over politics and didn't engage in partisan bitterness. In a long and controversial public career, he remained true to his commitment to do what was right for his constituents, his community, and his beloved State of Israel.

Brooks added, "The RJC was honored to work with Mayor Koch over the years. He was a patriot and we will miss him."

Brooks: Hagel Likes Ike - For the Wrong Reason

Thursday, January 31, 2013
By: RJC Executive Director Matthew Brooks

It turns out that Chuck Hagel is a great admirer of President Dwight Eisenhower. Unfortunately, what Hagel most likes about Ike was arguably Eisenhower's least admirable act--his bullying of Israel and his demarche to Britain and France, all in the service of rescuing of Egypt's dictator, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

RJC Releases New Ad: Say "No" to Chuck Hagel

Quotes Jewish leaders' and elected officials' concerns about Hagel's record on Israel, Iran


RJC Urges Senate to Vote No on Hagel nomination

Washington, D.C. (January 24, 2013) -- The Republican Jewish Coalition today released a web ad quoting prominent Jewish leaders and elected officials who have expressed serious concerns about Chuck Hagel's nomination to be Secretary of Defense.

The ad, titled "Say 'No' to Chuck Hagel," quotes Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), as well as Abe Foxman, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, and the Washington Post editorial board. All of them find Hagel's views and record to be deeply troubling.

The ad urges viewers to call their Senators and ask them to vote "no" on the Hagel nomination.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, "Chuck Hagel's record on Israel, on Iran, and on other vital defense issues is cause for real concern. President Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense signals a weakening commitment by the President toward Israel in his second term. We strongly oppose this nomination and we urge members of the Senate to do the same."

Click here or on the graphic below to see the ad:


Background: What They're Saying about Chuck Hagel:

Rep Eliot Engel: "It seems there is some kind of endemic hostility toward Israel, and that's troublesome for me and for a lot of other people... I think in the sensitive post of secretary of defense, those are warning bells, those are red lights." (C-SPAN, 12/21/12)

Sen. Joe Lieberman: "Chuck Hagel has consistently been against economic sanctions to try to change the behavior of the Islamist regime, the radical regime in Tehran, which is the only way to do it, short of war." (CNN, 12/23/12)

Sen. Lindsey Graham: "Chuck Hagel, if confirmed to be the secretary of defense, would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of Israel in our nation's history." (CNN, 1/6/2013)

Abe Foxman: "Chuck Hagel would not be the first, second, or third choice for the American Jewish community's friends of Israel. His record relating to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship is, at best, disturbing, and at worst, very troubling. The sentiments he's expressed about the Jewish lobby border on anti-Semitism in the genre of professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt and former president Jimmy Carter." (Washington Post, 12/18/2012)

Rabbi Abraham Cooper: "Whatever the context [for Hagel's "Jewish lobby" comments], the shorthand in the Middle East, Europe and online is so far gone. That terminology is really now shorthand for the worst kind of anti-Semitic mindset." (Washington Post, 12/19/2012)

Washington Post editors: "Mr. Hagel's stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his first term - and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him." (Washington Post, 12/18/2012)

RJC ACTION ALERT: Tell your Senators - Vote "NO" on Hagel


TO: RJC Members
FROM: RJC Legislative Affairs Committee
SUBJ: Tell Your Senators: VOTE "NO" on HAGEL

President Obama has nominated former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. The RJC strongly opposes this nomination because of Chuck Hagel's troubling record on Israel, Iran, and other issues.

* 2013 is the critical year in which we must confront Iran's growing nuclear threat. We must have all options on the table to give the U.S. and its allies the most leverage for preventing the rise of a nuclear Iran. Chuck Hagel has signaled his belief that military force should not be an option for dealing with Iran.

* Chuck Hagel was not a reliable friend of Israel while in the Senate or since. Hagel has spoken disparagingly about Israel's supporters in this country ("the Jewish lobby") and is himself strongly supported by groups like J Street and Americans for Peace Now that are far out of the mainstream of the American Jewish community.

* The Secretary of Defense is the official responsible for implementing the close military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel. We need a friend of Israel in that position to keep that vital strategic relationship strong.

* President Obama campaigned as a friend of Israel and as someone supportive of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, despite conflicts with Israeli leaders in the past. Chuck Hagel's nomination is another example of President Obama breaking his promises to the Jewish community.

Call your U.S. Senators and tell them to vote "NO" on Chuck Hagel's nomination for Secretary of Defense.

Information about how to contact your U.S. Senators can be found HERE or by calling 202-224-3121.

Senators are more responsive to their own constituents, so we encourage you to alert friends and family members in other states and ask them to contact their Senators as well.

Some details on Hagel's record can be found here:
RJC: Appointment of Hagel Would Be A "Slap in the Face" for Pro-Israel Americans
RJC: Hagel Nomination Shows Obama's True Intentions with Israel
CBS News: Hagel Nomination Cheers Iran, Worries Israel
The Weekly Standard: Obama, Hagel, and Iran

The RJC is the first major Jewish organization to oppose the Hagel nomination and one of the very few willing to do battle on this important issue. Please support the RJC's efforts with your generous donation by clicking here.