October 22, 2020
Your weekly look at the latest news, analysis, and RJC activities around the country.
— Featured —
Iowa Senate Race Update - Joni Ernst
One of the biggest challenges of preserving the GOP's Senate majority is overcoming the Democrats' financial advantage. Not that Republican candidates haven't worked hard and raised impressive sums, but the Democrat money machine, powered by liberals on the East and West Coasts, has shattered all previous fundraising records.
Take the Senate race in Iowa, which now appears quite likely to be decisive in determining which party controls the Senate next year. As of the beginning of October, incumbent Republican Joni Ernst had raised $21 million for the race, but her opponent Theresa Greenfield raised $40 million.
But while Greenfield is a political novice who has often looked overwhelmed in the spotlight, Senator Ernst is literally a battle-hardened veteran. She served our nation in uniform for more than 23 years as a member of the Army Reserves and the Iowa National Guard - including time spent deployed in the Middle East during the second Iraq War. She's brought the same work ethic to her Senate service - visiting with constituents in all 99 of Iowa's counties every year and delivering in Washington for the state's critical farming sector. For Jewish Iowans and pro-Israel Christians, it matters that Senator Ernst stands out as one of the most reliable pro-Israel leaders in the Senate, most recently illustrated by her signing on to Senator Ted Cruz's June 23 letter to President [Donald] Trump supporting Israel's right to apply sovereignty in Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan River Valley. (Greenfield, like all the Democrats' Senate candidates, marches in lockstep with J Street.)
The old saying that “money is the mother's milk of politics” still holds true, and it is essential that all of us continue to dig deep to support our candidates during the final days of the 2020 campaign. But my confidence that the GOP will retain its majority in the Senate is because of another political truth: candidate quality matters. And in Iowa - and across the map - Republican candidates simply outclass what the opposition is offering.
The RJC PAC has endorsed Joni Ernst. You can help her win by clicking here to support her campaign.
Please watch this space for more in-depth analysis on individual races in the critical 2020 elections. If you’d like to share your thoughts with me on any of these races, please email me at [email protected]. Click here to see previous "Notes from Norm."
RJC Helps Senator Lindsey Graham
The Forward reports on the strong support that the RJC and its members have given to South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham:
South Carolina’s population of some 5 million people is only about .3% Jewish.
Yet the biggest player on behalf of the incumbent in its Senate race — the most expensive in the country — is the Republican Jewish Coalition. That race is also a big priority for J Street, the progressive Israel advocacy organization.
“This is a national race with national implications,” said Matt Brooks, the RJC’s executive director. “It’s not just about the local South Carolina Jewish community.”
Through the RJC, South Carolina incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham has raised $79,474 for use in his high-profile race against newcomer Jaime Harrison… What’s more, since Sept. 3, more than $900,000 more has flowed to Graham through the RJC, for a total of more than $1 million, Brooks said.
…“There is nobody more important in the United States Senate in terms of advocating for a strong U.S-Israel partnership,” said Brooks. “As a result, it would be a catastrophic loss for our community if Lindsey Graham were to lose his election.”
RJC-Endorsed Jewish Republican Candidates in the News
In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, RJC Leader and Jewish GOP candidate for Congress Lisa Scheller (PA-7) expressed her concerns about US foreign policy if the Biden/Harris ticket were to take office:
Scheller… said she is convinced that [Joe] Biden is going to reenter the Iran deal. “I believe that the Iran deal is an arrangement that provides a certain path to a nuclear Iran with missile capacity to destroy Israel and ultimately target the United States,” she said.
“I think it was flawed from the very beginning, and it provided the means for Iran to officially continue to enrich uranium. And [Barack] Obama and Biden let this happen. They were part of it. Biden was part of this deal. So I don’t see why he would want to get back into it. And you know what? When you aim missiles at Israel, you aim missiles at Jews. And that’s very concerning to me.”
…Scheller said that the US-Israel relationship is a factor in the Lehigh Valley because the Jewish community wants to know their representatives’ values and their policies. “I think that the US-Israel relationship needs to be protected, and I don’t think what’s coming from the Left is working towards protecting that relationship, particularly when it comes to things like the Iran deal.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-1) was interviewed by the Washington Examiner last week and had this to say about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy:
It’s a stronger, more consistent foreign policy that treats our friends as friends and our adversaries as our adversaries, that builds on a substantial amount of success over the course of the last few years. I can think of a dozen history-making accomplishments just in and around Israel and the Middle East. [In addition,] we have a stronger military, stronger homeland security, stronger border security, a stronger support for our nation’s law enforcement, giving them all of the tools and resources that they need in order to do their jobs safely, to provide law and order, to provide safety and security and an understanding that our nation’s backbone is our rule of law.
You can support Lisa Scheller and Lee Zeldin - and all the great GOP candidates endorsed by the RJC PAC - at the RJC PAC web site.
Speaking of President Trump
Notable articles about President Donald Trump, to read and share:
Israel’s Future Depends on Donald Trump’s Reelection
Joel B. Pollak, Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News, writes:
It is no exaggeration to say that if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election, and US policy toward Israel continued in the direction President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were leading it, Israel would be facing a growing terrorist threat on every border, imminent danger of war with Iran, and the prospect of diplomatic isolation and crippling boycotts by the international community. President [Donald] Trump turned all of that around — dramatically.
‘Trump does what he says’: Muslims abandon Biden, back president
Paul Bedard reports that:
President Trump, whose Middle East plan is winning support from Arab nations, is gaining strong support from Muslim leaders and their followers who believe that the Democrats haven't delivered on years of promises, according to a new survey of Islamic leaders.
In a shocking turnaround, 61.48% of the 109 Muslim leaders who “represent two million voters” plan to vote for Trump. That is a slight edge over their 2012 vote for Barack Obama… Those results represent a dramatic flip of the Muslim vote, which for years has sided with the Democrats.
Trump, Democrats, Israel and the Jews
RJC member Jay Starkman of Atlanta makes the case for reelecting President Trump and concludes that:
Jews must re-evaluate why they blindly and reliably vote by margins of 70 to 80 percent, for Democrats whose agenda is often inimical to Jewish interests. As advocated by the Republican Jewish Coalition and several prominent and courageous Jewish leaders, like Bernie Marcus and Sheldon Adelson, more Jewish voters should understand that voting for Republican Donald Trump is in our best interests. He is good for the Jews.
If you oppose antisemitism and love Israel, you must vote Trump!
Jeff Dunetz has a long list of reasons to support President Trump, with links to sources. He writes: “Anyone who follows the news and/or investigates the candidates should know there is only one choice for Pro-Jewish or pro-Israel voters, reelect President Trump.”
Articles of note about Joe Biden:
Joe Biden and the Jews with Trembling Knees
In this important piece, Stephen Silbiger writes:
In 1982… Biden thought he could appeal to the perceived nativism of the Dixiecrats by publicly threatening to cut off aid to the Jewish state. In July of that year, he used an appearance of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin before the Senate Finance Committee to threaten to cut off aid to Israel.
After enduring Biden’s fist-pounding tirade, Begin responded with the eloquence that was his trademark. Looking directly at Biden, he said:
Don’t threaten us with cutting off aid to Israel. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history….
… Unfortunately, much of the American Jewish community is composed of Jews with trembling knees. Although Donald Trump has been the most pro-Israel president in history and will receive a record Jewish vote, he may receive fewer votes than Joe Biden, despite the latter’s checkered record on Israel and his support for reinstating [Barack] Obama’s deal with Iran.
… Even though the current Democrat Party includes many office holders who want to boycott Israel and eliminate American support for the Jewish state, Jewish Democratic operatives and Wall Street traders are hoping that if they support Biden and go along with some criticism of Israel they can still flourish in Democrat political and financial circles. But they may soon realize that this is not assured in today’s woke Democrat party.
Trump’s Middle East Metamorphosis
Walter Russell Mead writes that a Biden presidency is a scary thought for America’s Middle East allies:
In the new Middle East, the younger generation is turning its back on religious radicalism, and Arab public opinion is moving to accept the presence of a Jewish state. The Palestinians have lost their position at the center of Middle East politics, and it is Turkey and Iran, not Israel, that Arab rulers are most concerned to oppose.
…Ironically, the current Arab nightmare is that the next US administration won’t support Israel enough. Regional leaders fear that Team Biden would ignore Israeli as well as Arab objections, embracing Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, despite Mr. [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s ambitions, and dropping sanctions against Iran as part of a return to the 2015 nuclear deal.
New Stanford Study Suggests Biden's Agenda Will Have 4 Devastating Economic Consequences
Brad Polumbo at the Foundation for Economic Education warns:
Sympathetic media outlets have repeatedly asserted that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s tax agenda would only hurt the wealthy. But a new study shows that Biden’s tax and regulatory agenda could seriously hurt the economy overall.
Four economists from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution analyzed Biden’s proposals to increase taxes, reinstate and expand a host of regulations, and create new subsidies for healthcare and renewable energy. The study concludes that these interventions would distort labor incentives, decrease productivity, and kill jobs.
As a result, the experts project that the policy agenda would, by 2030, lead to 4.9 million fewer jobs and the economy shrinking by $2.6 trillion. So, too, the study projects that consumption would be $1.5 trillion lower in 2030 and families would see a $6,500 drop in median household income compared to a neutral scenario.
• The Abraham Accords continue to generate positive developments. This week, an Israeli delegation and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin flew to Bahrain for the signing of a communique to formalize relations between the Bahrain and Israel. The meeting also saw the signing of several memoranda of understanding that cover trade, air services, telecommunications, finance, banking, and agriculture.
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is optimistic. He said:
I think 10 years from now when we look back at this, this will be as significant – if not more significant than both the Egyptian treaty and the Jordanian treaty [with Israel] – in how it has changed the whole region economically in particular, but also from a security standpoint and a cultural standpoint… The opportunities for trade between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain are enormous.
• Another Muslim country is moving toward better relations with Israel: Israeli media outlets are reporting that Sudan has agreed to fully normalize relations with Israel very soon.
• The Palestinians are not joining in to work with Israel toward peace, but they are willing to be treated by Israeli doctors when they’re seriously ill. Senior PLO official Saeb Erekat is in critical condition with Covid-19 and is being treated at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. Erekat underwent a lung transplant in the United States in 2017 that complicates his care.
Jonathan Tobin addresses an obvious question: Why is Israel extending medical care to an avowed enemy, who has spent his career lying about Israel and preventing peace? Tobin writes:
As much as Israel is depicted as a modern-day Sparta — a militarized state that is dominated and governed by its security establishment — Jewish values still play a crucial part in its decision-making. Being a Jewish state necessarily involves considerations that a purely utilitarian approach to life would reject.
…It’s doubtful that any other country would be so generous to an enemy, yet somehow, the notion that Israel would turn away a person in need is inconceivable… The instinctual application of traditional Jewish values by the Jewish state’s secular government should not surprise anyone. Even when it will not advance Israel’s cause, behaving decently to those who would not reciprocate such a gesture is still the default position of any government of the Jewish state.
• An overwhelming majority of both chambers of Congress have co-sponsored resolutions in support of the Abraham Accords, which normalize ties between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain.
91 senators and 372 house representatives have cosponsored two resolutions supporting the Abraham Accords between Israel, UAE and Bahrain…
Former US Vice President Joe Biden's running mate, Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, did not co-sponsor the resolution, and neither did Democratic senators Tammy Baldwin, Martin Heinrich, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Schumer, Tom Udall, and Elizabeth Warren… Independent senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders did not co-sponsor as well.
The only Republican senator who did not co-sponsor the resolution in favor of the Abraham Accords was senator Ted Cruz, who is considered by many as an outspoken supporter of Israel.
NOTE: After that story appeared, Sen. Ted Cruz, a pro-Israel champion in the Senate, did sign on to the measure but stated some reservations.
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.
BUY YOUR KIPPAH HERE.
The Democrat Party is getting rid of the Jews
In this article from last August, Daniel Greenfield spells out the still-relevant facts about how Jews are losing representation in the Democratic Party, which is not only bad for US Israel policy - it also means that Jews will no longer be a valued constituency for Democrat leaders and our community’s interests won’t be considered by Democrats in power.
Amy Barrett helped protect menorahs
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whose nomination to the Supreme Court was advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today, has worked on cases to defend the rights of Jewish Americans, according to Nathan Lewin. After clerking for Justice Antonin Scalia, Barrett joined Lewin’s firm, where she worked on behalf of Hasidic clients in cases involving the display of Hanukkah menorahs on public property and other litigation.
— Events —
RJC Victory Team National Days of Action
Starting Monday, October 26, we will be making calls EVERY DAY (except Saturday) until Election Day! It's not too late to join in for the last big push to get out the vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia, key battleground states of the 2020 election cycle. Click here to sign up and help!
And don't miss the our next great virtual event:
A Conversation with Ari Fleischer and Coach Bruce Pearl
Monday, October 26 at 7:30PM Eastern Time
Click here to register.
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.
If you like the work we’re doing, consider joining us on Facebook and Twitter, and renew or upgrade your RJC membership. Ensure that your voice is heard in our party and our community!
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