Republican Jewish Coalition

The RJC Weekly Newsletter

April 22, 2021

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

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- Featured -

Rep. Banks and Sec. Pompeo Warren’s Comments

Republican Study Committee Chairman US Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the news conference announcing the Maximum Pressure Act.

Maximum Pressure Act Introduced

On Wednesday, House Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Rep. Jim Banks (IN-3) announced the introduction of the Maximum Pressure Act, a bill aiming to block President Joe Biden from lifting sanctions on Iran. Adam Kredo at The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The legislation, dubbed the Maximum Pressure Act, would formally codify the Trump administration's tough sanctions campaign on Iran and force the Biden administration to submit any revamped nuclear deal with Iran to Congress for review before it is approved.

… As the Biden administration inches closer to rejoining the 2015 nuclear accord and unwinding American pressure on Iran, Republicans in Congress are using their legislative and oversight authority to hamper negotiations and make clear that any such deal will not last beyond Biden's term in office. While the sanctions bill stands little chance of passing a Democrat-controlled Congress, it is yet another sign that Republicans are united in opposition to a revamped accord that provides the Islamic Republic with potentially billions in cash assets.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined members of the RSC at the press conference Wednesday unveiling the bill. The 12 demands on Iran that Sec. Pompeo laid out in May 2018 are set out in the Maximum Pressure Act as the benchmarks Iran must meet before any sanctions can be lifted. They include:

[S]topping all nuclear enrichment, ending ballistic missile development; releasing all US captives; ending support for terrorist groups including Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as the Yemeni Houthi rebels; withdrawing all forces from Syria; ceasing threats to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; and meeting certain human rights conditions.

The RJC applauded the bill. RJC National Chairman Norm Coleman said:

To address the Iranian threat in all its dimensions, we need a much better deal than the failed JCPOA that the Biden administration is trying to revive. The Maximum Pressure Act is based on the key insight that the only way the dangerous Tehran regime will end its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability and its other malign activities is if the US is relentless and resolute in using every tool at our disposal to force compliance with international norms and treaty obligations.

Biden and Abbas

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

RJC: Warren’s Comments to J Street Were Disgusting

At the annual conference of the radical J Street group, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pushed the discussion of military aid to Israel to a new extreme. Warren told the group [emphasis added]:

“But if we’re serious about arresting settlement expansion and helping move the parties toward a two-state solution, then it would be irresponsible not to consider all of the tools we have at our disposal. One of those is restricting military aid from being used in the occupied territories. By continuing to provide military aid without restriction, we provide no incentive for Israel to adjust course.”

Jacob Magid at the Times of Israel reports:

Prominent progressive senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both used their Monday addresses at the J Street lobby’s national conference to call for regulating US aid to Israel, asserting that such assistance should not be allowed to bankroll Israeli policies in the West Bank that damage prospects for a two-state solution.

The stances appeared to mark a shift by more left-wing Democrats away from talk of “conditioning” aid to Israel to “restricting” it… In shifting to talk of “restricting” aid, progressive Democrats, with J Street’s backing, are not calling to limit the amount of already-agreed-upon aid but are rather seeking greater control of how it may and may not be used.

The RJC’s response received widespread media coverage, as in this Jerusalem Post report:

In response, Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks rejected Warren’s speech.

“In Senator Warren’s view, the decades-long strategic alliance between the US and Israel is only useful as leverage to advance the anti-Israel agenda of the progressive Democrats she leads,” he said in a statement.

“To advocate, as Sen. Warren does, that the US pressure Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians while the Palestinian Authority condemns Israel’s existence, incites violence against Israel and Jews everywhere, and continues its ‘Pay for Slay’ salaries to terrorists and their families is disgusting,” Brooks said.

Biden and Abbas

Rep. Maxine Waters

The Left Brightens GOP Midterm Chances

Karl Rove writes at the Wall Street Journal:

A perception that’s long haunted Democrats—that they’re antipolice and weak on law-and-order—hurt them in 2020 and is likely to inflict even more damage on their electoral prospects in 2022.

…Last week, Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted: “Policing in our country is inherently and intentionally racist… No more policing, incarceration, and militarization.” The police chief in Ms. Tlaib’s hometown, Detroit, called for her resignation, but the representative’s fellow Democrats only mumbled.

Then on Saturday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) told protesters that if Derek Chauvin wasn’t found guilty, “we got to not only stay in the street, but we have got to fight for justice… We’ve got to get more confrontational” so “they know that we mean business.”

…A campaign dominated by statements such as Ms. Waters and Ms. Tlaib’s will be a twofer, driving GOP turnout and shifting swing voters to the right. Republicans must do more to win, starting with offering their own agenda. But so far Democrats are making it easy to portray their party as too extreme for everyone right of Marx.

Republicans are gearing up to win in 2022 with great candidates – incumbents and challengers – who will bring good sense, good policies, and good governance back to Washington when we take back the majorities in the House and Senate.

Click here to contribute to the RJC PAC and support the GOP’s 2022 efforts and STAY TUNED for the RJC PAC’s first round of House endorsements next week.

- Short Takes -

Zeldin: Biden admin ignores UNRWA antisemitism
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) continues to face accusations of teaching hatred and incitement in its school system against Jews and Israelis. Yet US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield apparently did not bring this issue up in a recent meeting with the head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini. The Biden administration has resumed funding UNRWA. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1) said, “It is unacceptable [that] Americans’ hard-earned money went towards this funding and the Biden administration is willing to look the other way while the UN actively perpetuates anti-Semitism. The Biden administration's eagerness to bury its head in the sand is a continued betrayal of America’s greatest ally Israel."

- Tweets -


- Events -


Zoom Webinar - May 2, 2021


Watch Now: Replay of Past Virtual Events

You can see recordings of many past RJC virtual events. Go to the RJC homepage and scroll down to the "RJC Live" section. There's a drop-down menu there to select the video you want to see.

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