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New Israeli government

Israel in the News

•  Israel dodged a fifth election within two years (for now) with the installation of a new coalition government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid


Dr. Shany Mor, of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, notes that the new government includes representatives from eight parties, three from the right, two from the center, two from the left, and one Arab party. He writes that the official photo (above) of the new government puts the lie to the claims that Israel is not a free and open democracy

In the photo, twenty-seven ministers are arrayed around President Reuven Rivlin. They range in age from 37 to 74. Nine are women. One sits in a wheelchair. It might be hard to see in the photo, but three are observant Jewish men with yarmulkes on their heads. Two are Arabs, one Druze and one Muslim. Five are immigrants, born in Ethiopia, Morocco, and the former Soviet Union.

•  President Joe Biden has nominated Thomas Nides to be US ambassador to Israel. Nides, who is Jewish, served as a deputy secretary of state from 2011 to 2013. The Times of Israel reports that Nides clashed with Congress during that period, supporting President Barack Obama’s refusal to limit US support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In fact

Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren wrote in his book “Ally” that in 2011, Nides had argued passionately against congressional efforts to defund UNESCO after the body admitted Palestine as a member state.


“You don’t want to f***ing defund UNESCO. They [f***ing] teach the f***ing Holocaust,” Oren quotes Nides as having told him… 


The Ynet news site quoted an unnamed Israeli who knows Nides as saying: “He is a warm Jew, a friendly person, pro-Israeli — but will still be a loyal representative of Biden’s policy and won’t go easy on Israel.”

•  Republicans in Congress are pushing back against efforts by the Biden administration to send money to assist the Palestinian Authority, which has not stopped inciting and rewarding violence against Israelis. Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon reports

Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he will not cave to demands from Democrats that he lift a congressional hold on a tranche of Palestinian aid money until he is provided with guarantees that the taxpayer funds will not enrich terrorist groups, including Iran-backed Hamas.


House Democrats led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) have been pressuring Risch to lift a hold on some $75 million in aid money in the wake of Hamas’s war last month with Israel… Risch rejected the Democratic pressure campaign on Wednesday… declaring that he will not release the funds until the Biden administration provides assurances the money will not be diverted to Hamas or be used by the Palestinian government to pay terrorists and their families.


…Risch says that he will under no circumstances lift the funding hold if the money will be spent by the Palestinian government on terrorists. "So long as the ‘pay to slay’ policy and the activities it supports continue, you can count on me to robustly examine any funds which may wind up in the hands of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or the PA," he wrote.


"A blank check," Risch maintains, "will not improve the condition of the Palestinian people while their leaders in the West Bank and Gaza subordinate their needs to violent agendas."

President Biden

Biden Administration Lifting Sanctions on Iran

The Washington Free Beacon has been tracking actions by the Biden administration to relieve sanctions pressure on Iran, pressure that the Trump administration successfully used to blunt the Iranian regime’s ability to pursue its malign goals in the region.

•  Last week, the Biden administration lifted sanctions on at least three former Iranian officials and on several companies that were helping the Iranian regime evade sanctions on its oil trade. 


•  The administration also appears poised to lift sanctions on the Iranian regime’s primary vehicles for terrorism financing, the Central Bank of Iran and the National Iranian Oil Company. 

The Jerusalem Post reports on another recent Biden administration concession to Iran

Iran regained its vote in the UN General Assembly on Friday after the United States enabled Tehran to use funds frozen in South Korea to pay some $16 million it owed to the world body.


Iran lost its vote in the 193-member General Assembly in January because it was more than two years in arrears. It owed a total of more than $65 million, but paid the minimum amount needed to regain its vote.

We commend Republicans in Congress for holding the Biden administration accountable as the administration tries to reinstate a nuclear agreement with Iran. This week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) led committee Republicans in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken reminding the Biden administration of its obligation under law (background here) to provide Congress with an opportunity to review and assess any nuclear agreement reached with Iran. See the hard-hitting letter and the list of signers here.

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Republicans Respond Strongly to Ilhan Omar’s Comments

Politico reports that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Tuesday called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to strip Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of her Foreign Affairs Committee assignment and promised to remove the Minnesota Democrat from the panel if Republicans regain control of the chamber next year.


McCarthy said on "Fox & Friends": “If we are fortunate enough to have the majority, Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs [Committee] or anybody that has an antisemitic, anti-American view.” 


Marc Rod reports at Jewish Insider

House Republicans waded into the controversy surrounding Rep. Ilhan Omar and comments made by the Minnesota lawmaker this week that appeared to equate the U.S. and Israel with the terrorist groups Hamas and the Taliban… Two groups of Republicans — 15 legislators in total — sent letters on Friday to Democratic leaders urging them to reprimand Omar by removing her from some or all of her committee seats.

Read more here to see efforts by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), and other House Republicans to press Democratic leaders to take action against Omar. 


Another call to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee came from over 200 rabbis, in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent by the Coalition of Jewish Values. 

RJC PAC Endorsees

Short Takes


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs legislation to protect religious freedom and support Florida’s Jewish community

Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by members of the Florida Legislature and leaders in the Jewish community at the Shul of Bal Harbour to sign HB 529 and HB 805. HB 805 ensures that volunteer ambulance services, including Hatzalah, a free emergency transport service operating in South Florida, can operate. It requires such services to meet rigorous standards and allows them to use emergency lights and sirens when responding. HB 529 requires Florida schools to hold a daily moment of silence, expanding the existing law which “encouraged” a moment of “silent prayer.” The bill encourages parents to discuss with their children how to make the best use of this uninterrupted moment and provides that a teacher may not make suggestions as to how a student may engage with the moment of silence.







Virtual Town Hall with NJ Gubernatorial Candidate Jack Ciattarelli
Fresh off his GOP primary victory!


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