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Israel uses the Iron Dome system to knock out rockets from Gaza.

Violence Against Israel

The ongoing violence against Israel is not on one front, but it does have one cause: the continued refusal of Palestinians to accept and recognize the existence of the Jewish state of Israel. Whether we’re talking about rockets from Gaza, riots over land ownership in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem, calls to “save al-Aqsa!”, or the role of Iran, all of these issues have that same root.

Background reading:

Sarah Margon

RJC Stands with Israel

The RJC released this statement from National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman:

The responsibility for the ongoing rocket attacks against Israel lies solely with Hamas and Fatah, who incite violence, carry out violence, subsidize violence, and reward violence against Israelis. Israel is defending her citizens once again from murderous weapons fired randomly into populated areas – indiscriminately wounding and killing Jews and non-Jews alike – while the IDF warns Palestinian civilians away before pinpoint targeting rocket launchers in Gaza.

The United States has, in the recent past, broken new ground for peace in the region with the Abraham Accords. This historic achievement was based on a foundation of unwavering American government support for Israel’s legitimacy, permanency, and security. That foundation has been weakened by the Biden administration’s outreach to Iran and perceived softening toward the Palestinian Authority. Now Democratic leaders have allowed the false, anti-Israel social media attacks of radical Democrats like Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to go unchallenged.

The Republican Jewish Coalition stands with Israel and calls on America’s leaders to offer Israel every possible means of support in this time of crisis. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel, for life, safety, and peace.

Sarah Margon

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

Democrats Blame Israel

Sadly, major voices in the Democratic Party are not supporting our ally Israel in this time of crisis. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blasted Israel last weekend.

On Monday, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) joined in, condemning Israel for putting down riots on the Temple Mount.

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan felt compelled to respond to Tlaib’s remarks. He tweeted back to her:

"Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib maybe you should open your eyes to the whole picture? Islam’s 3rd holiest site is being used to stockpile Molotov cocktails and rocks that are being lobbed at the police and at Jewish worshippers praying at the Western Wall, below the Temple Mount."

When Hamas began shooting rockets at Israeli civilians on Monday, the radical leftists in Congress continued to condemn Israel, not the terrorists. Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted on Monday:

Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Omar was “out of her mind” to tweet that, telling Fox News Primetime:

Number one, the Iron Dome wouldn’t need to exist if it wasn’t for Hamas and Hezbollah... The reason it exists is because these terrorists have rockets and they use it to try to kill Israelis. That’s the reason why it exists.

The Daily Wire reports:

Far-left Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) spoke at a fringe rally on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., where other extreme leftists called for the elimination of the state of Israel.

Also this week, a group of Democratic Senators were urging President Joe Biden to reopen the Palestinian Authority office in Washington, DC, as Jewish Insider reports:

A group of Democratic senators is urging President Joe Biden to follow through on commitments to reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem and the Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Washington, D.C.

... The senators lay out their request in a letter to Biden obtained by Jewish Insider, which has been circulating since mid-April and will close for signatures on Friday.

Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) organized the letter, which has also been signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL).

This points to a larger problem that Democrats have with regard to Israel. The Washington Post reports:

Israel maintains a deep bench of staunch defenders in the Democratic leadership, including Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, who have all emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself.

...But a new crop of younger lawmakers willing to challenge the party’s pro-Israel orthodoxy has put pressure on the Biden administration and congressional leaders amid polling showing growing skepticism among Democrats about Israeli actions.

... Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) along ... with Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has spotlighted Israeli aggression in the conflict in ways that go beyond conventional Democratic statements blaming both sides.

... The change in atmosphere on the issue is also the result of the last election cycle and the exit of long-serving pro-Israel members.

The former top Democrat of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot L. Engel, was unseated last year by a more liberal candidate, Jamaal Bowman, replacing a reflexive pro-Israel lawmaker with a former principal from the Bronx with fewer reservations about putting a spotlight on alleged atrocities carried out by Israeli forces.

Ron Kampeas at JTA points to some previously reliable pro-Israel Democrats in Congress who are now criticizing Israel. And Paul Mirengoff summarizes the situation this way:

Israel’s support from Democratic lawmakers is largely confined to old-timers. The new generation of congressional Dems is either ambivalent about Israel or, like the Squad, openly hostile to the Jewish State.

Sarah Margon

Republicans Continue to Support Israel

Meanwhile, Republican leaders are giving their strong, unwavering support to Israel at this troubled time.

The Hill reports on Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell:

The GOP leader voiced strong support for Israel and criticized rocket attacks launched by Hamas into Israel as “barbaric terrorism” and “not a legitimate protest.”

“Whatever complaints Palestinians have with Israel’s government, wanton violence against civilians is completely and totally inexcusable,” he said on the Senate floor.

In a significant move, Republican Senators are calling on President Joe Biden to end negotiations with Iran because of that regime’s support for the terrorists attacking Israel right now:

More than 40 Republican senators led by Marco Rubio (Fla.) petitioned the White House late Wednesday to "immediately end negotiations with Iran, and make clear that sanctions relief will not be provided," according to a copy of that letter exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "The United States must not do anything to enrich Israel's enemies, such as by offering sanctions relief to a regime that seeks to destroy Israel," they write.

The 44 senators—including foreign policy leaders like Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Jim Risch (R., Idaho), and John Cornyn (Texas)—say the Biden administration should abandon its diplomacy with Iran to send a message that terrorism will not be tolerated by America. The letter sends a clear message that the majority of Republicans serving in the Senate see the Biden administration's diplomacy with Iran as a danger to U.S. national security, as well as the alliance with Israel.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is proud to have helped build support for this important letter, which 44 GOP Senators signed. Keep in mind that just last week, CNN reported that the Biden administration is weighing unfreezing $1 billion in Iranian funds amid the negotiations for the US to reenter the 2015 nuclear deal.

Sarah Margon

Sarah Margon

Stop Sarah Margon

Jeff Dunetz writes this week about the sharp differences between Middle East policy under President Joe Biden and under President Donald Trump. He makes the important point that “personnel is policy” - who holds positions in the administration has a strong effect on how policy is carried out, writing:

I do believe the actions of President Biden and his team caused much of the violence happening in the Middle East this week by signaling that under this administration the U.S. support of Israel was in name only.

Biden and his anti-Israel team of Obama retreads have given the anti-Israel Triad of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and their Iranian benefactors confidence that this Administration’s support of Israel was nothing but sweet-sounding political [malarky].

... A major message to the Triad of Israel haters was the many people he hired for his administration who had Anti-Israel histories.

He goes on to list many anti-Israel members of the Biden administration, as well as the many pro-Israel actions of the Trump administration. Read more here.

President Biden has just added another potential name to Dunetz’s list. The RJC is very concerned about the recent nomination of Sarah Margon to be assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor. Ms. Margon is the wrong choice for this post because she holds views that are far outside the mainstream regarding Israel. She supports BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), a movement that seeks to delegitimize and destroy Israel. She supports putting new conditions on US security assistance to Israel, a position that Biden forcefully opposed during the presidential campaign. And she supports the idea of a one-state solution, in which Israel would cease to be an independent, Jewish state.

Please sign and share our petition calling on President Biden to withdraw her nomination.

RJC PAC Endorsees

The best way to help these pro-Israel candidates is to donate to them through the RJC PAC.


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