Republican Jewish Coalition

The RJC Weekly Newsletter

April 08, 2021

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

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- Featured -

Biden and Abbas

Secretary of State Antony Blinken

It’s Official: US to Send $235 Million in Aid to Palestinians

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced this week that the US will provide $235 million in assistance to the Palestinians, with most of it ($150 million) going to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). (Read the Department of State announcement here.)

The RJC spoke out immediately in opposition to this move, noting that UNRWA schools glorify jihad and incite violence against Israelis and that the Palestinian Authority continues its outrageous “pay for slay” policy, paying salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons and to the families of deceased terrorists. RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks put it bluntly:

"These efforts by the Biden Administration amount to nothing more than money laundering of US tax dollars for terrorism."

Jonathan Schanzer and Matthew Zweig from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies explain how the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (PATA), originally co-sponsored by then-Senator Joe Biden, may complicate President Biden’s efforts to engage with the Palestinian Authority.

Biden’s aid to the Palestinians may also run afoul of the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits funding the Palestinian Authority as long as it continues to “pay for slay.” RJC Board of Directors member Sander Gerber, who helped craft the Taylor Force Act, objects to Biden’s plan: “Given that [Mahmoud] Abbas has recently taken control of Palestinian NGOs, it [is] hard to see the PA won’t gain a benefit from US aid… The point is that money is fungible, and if the PA saves money, it can spend it on terror.”

Ruthie Blum reminds us that the resumption of Palestinian aid was announced just weeks after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas snubbed the US by refusing to take a call from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, insisting that President Biden should call him instead. The Biden administration rewards bad behavior – a bad sign for the policy decisions to come.

Biden and Abbas

Surrendering to Iran

On Tuesday, the US and Iran opened indirect talks in Vienna with the goal of returning to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Obama-Biden nuclear deal with Iran. Iran immediately declared victory: Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said the talks represented “a victory over the US and the former Trump administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign on Iran.”

On Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price announced: "We are prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the JCPOA, including by lifting sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA. I am not in a position here to give you chapter and verse on what those might be.” The Biden team is so eager to surrender to Iran that they are willing to remove sanctions without expecting anything serious from Iran in return.

Rick Moran points out that the US announced this unilateral easing of sanctions “at virtually the same time that Iran sent its regrets to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that they would be unable to meet to discuss ‘undeclared nuclear material’ that was found at three different sites in the past year.” He also notes that “Iranian nuclear authorities proudly shared the news that they have created about 120 pounds of highly enriched uranium — a feat made possible after the Iranian parliament passed a law that made the 2015 nuclear deal a dead issue.”

Biden and Abbas

GOP Puts Biden on Notice: Congress Will Not Be Bound by a New Iran Deal

Republicans in Congress are fighting back against President Joe Biden's surrender to Iran, as Adam Kredo reports:

Republican foreign policy leaders in Congress officially informed the Biden administration late Wednesday that they will not be bound to any new agreement with Iran that promises relief from harsh economic sanctions, according to a copy of that communication exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

[The letter was initiated by Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Joe Wilson (R-SC), GOP leaders on the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees.]

The letter is a sign that any new Iran deal is likely to be plagued by the same weaknesses as the original 2015 accord, which the Obama administration never brought before Congress for approval. The decision to skirt Congress meant the deal was never ratified as a formal treaty and paved the way for the Trump administration to easily cancel it in 2018. GOP foreign policy leaders are now warning the Biden administration that any new deal will suffer a similar fate under the next Republican administration. The lawmakers are also sending a message to Tehran: Anything promised by the Biden administration can be taken back in the near future.

…The letter represents the opening salvo in the GOP’s mounting efforts to interfere with the Biden administration’s ongoing diplomacy with Iran, which is being conducted without input from Democrats and Republicans on the Hill… The administration’s unilateral actions to unravel sanctions also contradict Blinken’s sworn testimony before Congress in January, in which he promised to restore Congress’s traditional role in sculpting foreign policy.

Please visit the RJC’s new Iran deal portal, where you can learn more about the failures of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and see the RJC’s stance on dealing with Iran going forward. Most importantly, we’ve made it easy for you to tell President Biden that you oppose the US reentering the failed 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Click here to use our interactive tool to send an email to the White House today!

Biden and Abbas

Lee Zeldin Announces Run for NY Governor

Lee Zeldin, the Jewish Republican Congressman representing New York’s 1st District, has announced that he will run for Governor of New York next year. Zeldin said:

With one-party Democrat rule in NYC and Albany, the light that once shone as a beacon of what America can be has gone dark. The New York that was once a magnet for the world’s best and brightest is now forcing its own to leave under the crushing weight of skyrocketing taxes, lost jobs, suffocating regulations, and rising crime resulting from dangerously liberal policies.

Biden and Abbas

Thoughts for Yom HaShoah

Today we mark Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Gil Troy: Just Decades After the Holocaust, the Woke Mob Targets Jews and America

This Yom HaShoah, I am thinking about how many of my fellow Americans have spent the last few years Europeanizing America, making the land of the free and the home of the brave look like the land of the fanatic and the home of the bully, where the left and right can agree on little — except that the Jews are somehow at fault and inherently flawed.

Jeff Dunetz: How Eisenhower Assured the Horrors Would Never Be Forgotten

We should know that if it wasn’t for General Dwight D. Eisenhower, much of the video and picture proof of the Holocaust would not be available today. He wanted to make sure that people in the future couldn’t deny or forget the horrors committed by the Nazis.

- Short Takes -

Has Biden already betrayed the trust of pro-Israel Democrats?

Jonathan Tobin writes that pro-Israel Democrats were willing to give Joe Biden a chance, because he was the 2020 Democratic presidential contender who seemed most likely to treat the Jewish state as an ally. Unfortunately, that’s not what we’re seeing, and Tobin urges the pro-Israel community to speak up before it’s too late.

- Tweets -


- Events -

Watch Now: Replay of Past Virtual Events

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