Republican Jewish Coalition

The RJC Weekly Newsletter

September 17, 2020

Your weekly look at the latest news, analysis, and RJC activities around the country.

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— Featured —

Notes from Norm


Alaska Senate Race – Dan Sullivan


Alaska's Senate race wasn't on anybody's list of competitive races at the beginning of the year. First-term Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, who previously served as the state's Attorney General and Commissioner of Natural Resources, is well-liked and effective. He gets a big share of the credit for opening up a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration - a state priority that had been stymied for decades.


But COVID hit the state's critical tourism and oil industries hard. And Democrats warmed to the candidate challenging Sullivan, a Jewish doctor named Al Gross. Gross, whose father was once the state's Attorney General, is officially running as an independent. But it's a distinction without much of a difference, since he says he'll caucus with the Democrats in the Senate if elected.


Gross has raised serious money from Democrat donors in the Lower 48 who love the idea of picking off a seat in such a typically Republican state and supplemented those funds with money of his own. Now Sullivan has a fight on his hands.


To win, Sullivan will need to impress upon Alaska voters that a vote for "independent" Gross is a vote to empower national Democrats who want to reverse the progress the state has made while he's been Senator. As regards Jewish voters - the so-called "Frozen Chosen" - and others who support Israel, Sullivan can point to his strong opposition to the Obama-Biden Iran nuclear deal and the fact that Gross has been endorsed by J Street. Gross may beat expectations, but don't bet against Dan Sullivan.



UAE-Bahrain-Israel peace agreements

This week we saw an incredible achievement - the signing of the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE, the declaration of peace between Israel and Bahrain, and the Abraham Accords Declaration signed by Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and the US. RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks pointed out that this truly historic occasion would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts of President Donald Trump and his team. 


The RJC took out a full-page ad in the New York Times on Tuesday to commend and thank President Trump, “a true statesman who has done what others could not.” As Matt Brooks said

[The President’s] controversial decisions to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights were part of a regional strategy that has proven its wisdom this week with the signing of peace agreements between Israel and two Arab states. In addition to opening the door for regional cooperation in many spheres, these agreements strengthen the regional alliance against the threat of Iran. The world is safer today because of President Trump.

You can read the text of the Abraham Accords Declaration, the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, and the Abraham Accords Declaration of Peace between Bahrain and Israel. The full video of the signing event is here


The language in these documents is worth noting. The Abraham Accords Declaration says that all four countries recognize the importance of religious freedom and encourage efforts to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue among the three Abrahamic religions. The Israel-UAE treaty of peace includes these words: “Recognizing that the Arab and Jewish peoples are descendants of a common ancestor, Abraham…” The declaration of peace between Bahrain and Israel says the king of Bahrain and the Prime Minister of Israel, “have agreed to open an era of friendship and cooperation in pursuit of a Middle East region that is stable, secure and prosperous for the benefit for all States and peoples in the region.”


Throughout these historic declarations, the reality of Jewish peoplehood, the Jewish connection to the land of Israel, and the legitimacy of the State of Israel are expressed. The “Three Nos” declared by the Arab League after the 1967 Arab-Israel war, “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel,” are now overturned. The idea that peace in the Middle East depended on first solving the Palestinian issue is dead.


There is one more remarkable implication to this week’s diplomatic achievement. According to an analysis in Foreign Policy, the Abraham Accords are a strategic nightmare for Iran. The agreements will allow Israel a “foothold” in Iran’s immediate neighborhood, around the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf. No longer will the Arab-Israeli conflict over the Palestinians create a geopolitical bulwark between Iran and the US-Israel alliance or offer Iran “strategic depth” for its activities in the region. 


Further Reading:


Best wishes for a sweet, happy, and healthy new year, from the officers and staff of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

RJC in the News

• RJC National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman participated in a Moment Magazine debate with former Rep. Steven Israel (D-NY). The topic: "Should Jews Still Be Democrats?" Read Sen. Coleman’s strong “NO” arguments here


In case you missed it – Be sure to read Sen. Coleman’s eloquent op-ed in the Times of Israel on why Jews would vote for Trump


• This Washington Examiner article discusses the RJC’s efforts to increase the Jewish vote for President Trump

Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said Tuesday's signing meant things were moving in the president's direction, albeit gradually.

“Because of the signing ceremony today and because of the incredible record and accomplishments of this president, which have been historic, I am very confident that the president is going to do better among Jewish voters in 2020 than he did in 2016,” he said.

Exit polls suggest Trump captured about 24% of the Jewish vote last time around, roughly in line with Republican candidates in the previous four elections.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is spending $10 million in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Michigan in the hope that wooing a point or two of the Jewish vote from [Joe] Biden in battleground states could be enough to deliver an electoral victory to Trump.

The venerable group published a full-page advert in the New York Times to coincide with the signing ceremony, proclaiming [Donald] Trump a “peacemaker.”

“President Trump, you are a statesman who has done what no others could do: moving the embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, brokering this historic deal with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain,” it said.

…But for Brooks and the Jewish Republican Coalition, the aim is to treat Israel as one of a number of issues that can be microtargeted to voters in an effort to appeal to those concerned about anti-Semitism, the state of the economy, campaigns to defund the police, and school choice.

It’s an approach they say bore fruit in Florida, helping Ron DeSantis to the governor’s mansion two years ago with a campaign that attacked his Democratic rival for links to groups critical of Israel.

“There’s no question that his significant increase in Jewish support helped propel him to victory in that election,” said Brooks. “That’s the same model that I think will be in play here.”

Have You Seen Our Ads?

Check out all the great ads the RJC has put out so far in this election cycle and watch this space for more ads, coming soon!


RJC print ad in the New York Times thanking President Donald Trump: “Peacemaker” 


RJC digital ad supporting Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), featuring Sen. Joe Lieberman: “Bipartisan” 


RJC television ad supporting Jewish Republican Lisa Scheller (PA-7): “Grit” 


RJC television ad supporting Jewish Republican David Richter (NJ-3), focused on his opponent Andy Kim’s record as an Obama administration official: “Intelligence” 


RJC video featuring Cantor Sagee Goldenholz, Mark Dunec, Dr. Caryn Borger, and Rabbi Alan Sherman: “Wake Up Call” 


RJC video on President Trump's historic pro-Israel record: “Sunrise” 


RJC ad on leading Democrats turning their backs on Israel: “Shanda” 


Countdown to Election Day


The RJC is committed to reelecting President Donald Trump, keeping the Senate, and winning back the House. We encourage our members to participate in our outreach phonebank project to help Republicans win in November. It's easy, and you can do it from home! Here's how YOU can help: 

- Sign up to call Jewish voters from home by clicking HERE
- Fill out all of the fields.
- Listen to the instructions and write down your username and password when a member of the RJC Victory Team contacts you.
- Make as many phone calls as you can. Everyone you speak to is a potential vote for President Trump and the GOP!


Sign up now and you could be the next RJC Volunteer of the Week!



The RJC PAC has endorsed a terrific slate of House and Senate candidates, and we need them to continue their work on Capitol Hill! CLICK HERE to donate through the RJC PAC portal and show your support for our great candidates!


And don't forget your RJC/Trump kippah! 
Our extremely popular red Trump kippah is now for sale for just $18. This includes shipping and handling. Supplies are limited. 



— Short Takes —

Rep. Kevin McCarthy lays out agenda for after the GOP takes the House in November

We are announcing our commitment to America with three specific objectives: restore our way of life, rebuild the greatest economy in history, and renew the American dream.


Donald J. Trump is Israel's best friend

RJC Leader and Florida State Representative Randy Fine makes the case for President Trump as the most pro-Israel president in history.


Two former “not-Trump” voters explain their change of heart

Danielle Pletka writes that she never considered voting for Donald Trump. She didn’t like his demeanor, his tweets, or his decision-making style. “But I fear the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party even more… I am increasingly persuaded that what I see in Joe Biden — whom I first met in 1992, and whom I believe to be a decent person — would merely be the facade for an administration, fully backed by both houses of Congress, with an agenda that would seriously damage the nation. The corrosive left-wing extremism of 2020 would be ascendant, while a smiling President Biden assures the country that everything is fine.” 


College senior Michael Weiner thought voting for Joe Biden was the obvious choice. Then Pres. Trump “pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the Middle East hat,” with the Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain. Weiner writes, “This is kind of a big deal, and it’s freaking me out… If Biden takes us back to foreign policy circa 2013, where dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions was the top priority, I can’t see him finishing the job and brokering an Israeli-Saudi peace agreement. And with this tantalizing fantasy closer than it’s ever been before, I’m hesitant to pull the lever for Joe and give up on that dream.” 


162 House Dems vote against measure to combat antisemitism

Adam Kredo reports: Republicans offered the antisemitism measure as an amendment to a piece of Democrat-backed legislation promoting greater inclusivity in federal programs. The bill, dubbed the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act, would permit the filing of private civil suits for violations of federal regulations that "prohibit discrimination on the ground of race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance." The Republican amendment, which passed by a vote of 265 to 164, with 162 Democrats in opposition, mandates that antisemitism also be considered as discrimination.


— Tweets —





— Events —


RJC Victory Team National Days of Action


Last week, we awarded RJC’s first 2020 Volunteer Raffle Prize (an iPad Mini) to Laurie Semo from Delray Beach, FL. The next drawing will be on Tuesday, September 22.
Reminder: For every 1,000 calls made to targeted Jewish voters in key battleground states, volunteers will receive 1 raffle “ticket” to enter the prize drawing, and will receive a $100 AmEx gift card.

Please join us for the upcoming RJC Victory Team Virtual Days of Action scheduled for Tuesday, September 22 and Thursday, September 24. There will be a half day of calling on Sunday, September 27 and then regular Virtual Days of Action on Tuesday, September 29 and Thursday, October 1. We are calling potential Jewish voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia, key battleground states of the 2020 election cycle. Click here to sign up and help!



While RJC offices are closed and our staff are teleworking, you can reach us by email or by phone (please leave a voicemail message and your call will be returned). Contact information for our offices can be found on our web site. Please visit us online for the latest RJC news, to volunteer for our 2020 outreach efforts, to see details of upcoming events, and to donate to the RJC.


— Connect —

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Republican Jewish Coalition | 50 F Street, N.W., Suite 100 | Washington, DC 20001
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