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The central staircase and interior entrance of the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. Photo credit: Shai Gil.

A First Look inside Jerusalem’s Museum of Tolerance

Ruth Marks Eglash, writing at Jewish Insider reports:

Over the last 3,500 years or so, few construction projects in the holy city of Jerusalem have piqued as much curiosity or controversy as the Museum of Tolerance.


...“It’s based on Abraham’s tent, open on all sides and welcoming to all populations – religious, secular, Jewish, Muslim, Christian,” Jonathan Riss, director of operations, explained as he gave Jewish Insider an inaugural peek inside what might be one of the most spectacular buildings constructed in Jerusalem this century.


...The heart of the Tolerance Museum, “the People’s Journey Exhibition,” will be on the lowest level. Its content — based on the vision of Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance in LA — will differ from its well-established counterpart in California. The exhibits, which have been held up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will avoid Holocaust subjects, so as not to clash with the nearby Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center, and focus instead on telling Israel’s unique story as a Jewish and democratic state.


...If Hier is the content’s visionary, Larry Mizel, co-founder and chairman of MOTJ, chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles [and a member of the RJC Board of Directors], is the driving force that has kept the project going through numerous hurdles. One of the main benefactor of the $260 million project, Riss called him a “street fighter.”


“He is the type of guy that never says never, and he sees this building as a game changer for Israeli society,” said Riss. “He has the tenacity to go through battles and because of that we will finish it and you will see the results."


...Riss, who can finally see a bustling museum, cultural and convention center drawing people from Jerusalem’s diverse population, is clearly proud of the nascent project and said that the lengthy wait will be well worth it for everyone.


“At the end of the day, if we didn’t believe that this project could change Israeli society or improve Jerusalem, that it can promote tolerance and openness in an amazing building for different people from different walks of life and bridge those differences,” he said, wrapping up the tour. “Then we wouldn’t have done it.”

©Yaakov Kirschen, who posted this Dry Bones cartoon to his blog in January 2009.

Biden Must Sanction Hamas for Using Human Shields

Adam Kredo reports at the Washington Free Beacon:

The Biden administration is ignoring a congressional mandate to impose sanctions on the Iranian-backed terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah for their use of human shields in combat, according to a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers.

Congress passed legislation in 2018 that requires the US government to sanction every individual involved in the use of human shields, in which women and children are placed in harm's way during combat to maximize casualties. Hamas and Hezbollah routinely employ this tactic during skirmishes with Israel to make it appear as if the Jewish state is killing innocent civilians.

"Despite overwhelming evidence, the Biden administration has yet to impose sanctions—as required by law—on the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah for their barbaric use of human shields," Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) told the Washington Free Beacon. "These sanctions are long overdue and will send a strong signal that the United States will not tolerate the use of human shields."

Gallagher and a coalition of 22 lawmakers from both parties wrote to the Biden administration earlier this week to demand that it enforce the Shields Act, which mandated sanctions be applied on Hamas and Hezbollah for their use of civilians in combat...

You can see the letter, which lists numerous examples of Hamas’s use of human shields in Gaza during the conflict with Israel in May 2021, here.

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Remembering Sen. Johnny Isakson

The RJC notes with sadness the passing of former Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who served in the US Senate from 2005-2019. He was a good friend of Israel and the Jewish community and a popular speaker at RJC events in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Jewish Times spoke to local community members about Isakson.

Former Georgia attorney general Sam Olens said:

“Johnny was quite frankly the best public servant I have ever met. He truly cared, about his community, state and country. Despite his illness, he flew several times to bring back hostages in hostile lands without ever seeking recognition. His leadership to improve the lives of our veterans and efforts to strengthen ethics in Congress is the gold standard.”

Chuck Berk, co-chairman of the Atlanta chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition, told the paper:

“Johnny Isakson was a statesman in the mold of Paul Coverdell, who worked with both sides to build consensus. A strong supporter of Israel, our veterans and military, Johnny had the unique ability to gain support from liberal and conservative Jews. He helped propel our state forward to prosperity. Every Georgian and American, including the Jewish community, benefited from his service and we’ll miss his leadership.”

RJC Seeks CA Outreach Associate

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) is seeking an Outreach Associate to assist with the accelerated growth of membership and to support programming and events in California. Candidates must be organized, motivated, and detail-oriented. This position is based in Los Angeles, CA.

For details about the position and how to apply, click here.

Short Takes

An interview with Rep. Lee Zeldin

Omri Nahmias of Mispacha Mazagine sat down with Jewish Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1) to talk about Iran, the US consulate in Jerusalem, antisemitism, and his decision to run for governor.

Israel “bombs Auschwitz”

Holocaust expert Rafael Medoff writes that two newly-revealed Israeli bombing raids inside Syria in 2020 and 2021 helped prevent the Assad government from restarting the production of poison gas to use against Israel and its own citizens, preventing another genocide.

Why the double standard on West Bank violence?

Jonathan Tobin offers needed context to recent news stories about "settler violence" against Palestinians. He writes, "[T]he public breast-beating about the settlers and the so-called moral toll of the 'occupation' is not merely disproportionate. It is also part of a narrative intended to whitewash, rationalize and even justify violence against Jews for having the temerity to live in parts of the Jewish homeland where Arabs don’t want them."

Israel – the best place to be an Arab

Bassem Eid is a Palestinian living in Israel who has an extensive career as a Palestinian human rights activist, focusing on human rights abuses by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He writes that recent surveys show Muslims and Jews are living peacefully in Israel: "According to these surveys, there is a growing trend of Israeli Arabs ditching their former Palestinian identity and starting to identify more heavily with their Israeli nationality. This switch in national identity is great news for everyone who holds a stake in the Middle East. It proves that Arabs have been able to call Israel home, while Israel is able to maintain its Jewish majority."






Atlanta: Webinar with Jonathan Schanzer
Sr. VP at Foundation for Defense of Democracies

"Gaza Conflict 2021"




FL: Event with Shoshana Bryen
Sr. Director, Jewish Policy Center

"Iran's Regional Policies: Nuclear and Conventional, Both Dangerous"




Atlanta: GOP "Job Interview" in GA-06
Live event with five Republican primary candidates for Congress in Georgia's 6th district.


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.

RJC staff have returned to their offices for in-person work. Contact information for our offices can be found on our web site. Please visit us online for the latest RJC news, to see details of upcoming events, and to donate to the RJC. Read past editions of this newsletter here.

Republican Jewish Coalition
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