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Rep. Kevin McCarthy with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Israel in 2011.

Speaker McCarthy to Lead House Delegation to Israel and

Address Knesset

JTA reports:

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will address the Israeli Knesset on his upcoming trip to Israel — the second speaker of the House to address Israel's parliament.


…McCarthy tweeted that his visit, which is part of a bipartisan delegation beginning April 30, days after Israel celebrates its 75th birthday, will be his first abroad as speaker. "The US-Israel relationship is as important as ever," he wrote.


The last time a US House of Representatives speaker addressed the Knesset was in 1998, when Newt Gingrich led a similarly bipartisan delegation to mark Israel's 50th anniversary.

RJC in the News

Last Friday, two women attempted to disrupt a speech by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. National Review reports:

Although it was not clear at first who the protesters were, the organization IfNotNow, a progressive American Jewish group, claimed credit online explaining that the publicity stunt was a means of drawing attention to the Florida governor’s upcoming trip to Israel.


"IfNotNow members are confronting Ron DeSantis at a GOP fundraiser in New Hampshire this evening. We’re making clear that DeSantis is an antisemite whose actions and policies both support Israeli apartheid and put Jews in danger," the group announced on its official Twitter account…

The RJC responded with a strong statement from National Chairman Norm Coleman and CEO Matt Brooks:

What was once a fringe opinion on the left has become mainstream and normalized in the Democratic Party. Ascendent voices espousing anti-Israel hatred are displayed openly by the left in the US political arena today. Elected officials like Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) lie about Israel and call it an "apartheid state," while her comrades on the "Squad" call for ending all US military aid to Israel.


A Gallup poll just last month showed for the first time that more Democrats sympathize with Palestinians than with Israel in the long-standing Middle East conflict. According to Gallup, 49 percent of Democrats say that their sympathies are more with Palestinians versus 38 percent who sympathize more with Israel. Republicans continue to support Israel by robust margins; 78 percent of Republicans told Gallup that their sympathies are more with Israel while 11 percent said their sympathies were more with the Palestinians.


From Capitol Hill to the grassroots, the Democratic Party is growing less and less supportive of Israel, at a time when the threat from Iran and ongoing Palestinian terrorism continue to grow. We call on pro-Israel Democrats to stand up and speak out forcefully against this disturbing trend in their party.


CEO Matt Brooks added the following:


From his time as a Congressman and now as a Governor, Governor Ron DeSantis has been a steadfast and stalwart friend of the Jewish community and the State of Israel. The Florida Jewish community appreciates that friendship, and a historic, record-setting 45% of Jews voted for him in his recent reelection. We know Governor DeSantis will receive a very warm welcome in Israel when he visits later this month.

The RJC's praise of Governor DeSantis was quoted in a piece by Matthew Kassel at Jewish Insider on the governor's outreach to Jewish voters. In addition, Kassel noted:

As a congressman, DeSantis was an outspoken advocate of the Jewish state. In 2019, he promised to be "the most pro-Israel governor in America."


"None of this is new coming from the governor," said [RJC Board member Gabriel] Groisman, who is frequently in touch with DeSantis and plans to support his presidential campaign. "He's been a staunch supporter of the Jewish community and Israel ever since his first term in Congress."

Further reading
Jonathan Tobin: Antisemites are those who hate Israel, not those who love it.

IfNotNow doesn't exist to merely criticize Israel’s policies. It opposes Israel's existence and supports Palestinian efforts to achieve its destruction—namely, via the BDS movement. It achieved notoriety for its opposition to the Birthright Israel program that funds visits to the Jewish state by young Americans. IfNotNow’s position is that no one should go to Israel until Palestinian Arabs have achieved their so-called "right of return," which is tantamount to saying that it should be off-limits until it is destroyed. That's something that could only be achieved by the genocide of its Jewish population by IfNotNow's Arab "partners."


Seen in that light, it's clear that although its members have Jewish backgrounds, they are the antisemites, not DeSantis.

As we noted in last week's newsletter, the RJC responded to the news that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has lied for years that he had only a "vague recollection" of the controversy surrounding the antisemitism of his uncle, Leonard Jeffries. Actually, Hakeem Jeffries defended his uncle and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in a published op-ed at the time, which only came to light recently.


A JNS report on Jeffries quoted the RJC: "Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries owes the Jewish community an explanation as to why he lied and attempted to cover up his defense of these revolting antisemites."

Short Takes

Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Sabbath observance case with major impact for religious Jews

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments in Groff v. DeJoy, a religious accommodation in the workplace lawsuit with significant ramifications for observant Jews. Nathan Diament, who co-authored the Orthodox Union’s amicus brief in the case, lays out the case in the Wall Street Journal.

The Algemeiner reports on the Supreme Court oral arguments here. The Jewish Insider has an update.

The 'occupation' myth is the engine of antisemitic terror

The root cause of the anti-Israel rhetoric spewed by the left and the international community against Israel is the myth of Israel’s "occupation" of Palestinian land, writes Jonathan Tobin: "Put simply, as long as Israel is viewed as in possession of territory that belongs to someone else, whether in Judea and Samaria—or even in Jerusalem and pre-1967 Israel inside the old “Green Line”—the slanders and the media bias will continue."

Max Miller aims to be the 'loudest Republican Jewish voice for our people'

JNS has a profile of freshman Republican Congressman Max Miller (R-OH), who says he wants everyone to know that he’s a loud, proud Jewish voice on Capitol Hill. Miller made headlines for introducing legislation that stripped Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of her assignment on the Foreign Affairs Committee. He told JNS that he ran for Congress because, "I wanted to make that difference. I wanted to be a proud Jew representing our people throughout our country and across the world." Miller is one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress; Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN) is the other.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising's 80th anniversary marked with daffodils, 3 presidents and an 11th commandment against 'indifference'

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, took place on Tuesday of this week. It is observed on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. The JTA reports on how that anniversary was marked in Poland this year: "[T]housands of Poles and international visitors, including Polish President Andrzej Duda, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, marked the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in a stirring Holocaust commemoration festooned with daffodils, the emergent symbol of the largest Jewish rebellion against the Nazis during World War II."

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PA: Book Event with David McCormick
Join us for a discussion of his new book, Superpower in Peril: A Battle Plan to Renew America. David McCormick is a proven business executive, and a combat veteran, who has served in senior posts at the National Security Council and at the Department of Commerce. He ran for US Senate in 2022.





TX: Event with Commissioner Tom S. Ramsey PE
Please join us for this opportunity to meet the only conservative on the Harris County Commissioners Court. Tom Ramsey was the Mayor of Spring Valley Village from 2012-2020, and is an award-winning civil engineer, senior executive, and public servant.





DC: RJC National Leadership Meeting
Join with RJC Leaders from across the country to hear from Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Steve Daines (R-MT) as well as other prominent Republican leaders at this one-day event.




RJC Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas

October 27-29, 2023


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