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Speaker McCarthy Addresses Knesset, Pledges to Fully Fund Security Aid to Israel

On April 30, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy landed in Israel with a bipartisan delegation of House members, including Jewish Republican freshman Congressman Max Miller (R-OH) and pro-Israel Republicans Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-NJ) and Michael Lawler (R-NY).


Jewish Insider reports that McCarthy held private working meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, in addition to wider meetings with those officials that included the entire House delegation.


The Speaker addressed the Knesset the next day, becoming the second US Speaker of the House to address that body, 25 years after Newt Gingrich addressed the Knesset to mark the 50th anniversary of Israel’s founding. You can read Speaker McCarthy’s remarks to the Knesset here.


In his remarks, Speaker McCarthy referenced Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel and spoke of the rebirth of Israel as a modern state in the birthplace of the Jewish people. The Speaker expressed Congress’s support of the Abraham Accords, which has made a lasting peace of coexistence and cooperation in the region an attainable goal.


In a statement, the Republican Jewish Coalition said of the Speaker’s remarks:

It was a message of deep solidarity:

"Our values are your values. Our heritage is your heritage. Our dreams are your dreams. America is grateful for our friendship with Israel. We are a better nation because of it and we must never shy away from defending it."

In his Knesset speech, the Speaker directly addressed the threat from Iran, saying America and Israel must work “shoulder to shoulder” to counter the Islamic Republic’s regional aggression and that together, "we must be resolute that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon."


Speaker McCarthy also spoke forthrightly about the urgency of combating anti-Israel and antisemitic movements and institutions, correctly calling out the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign and the United Nations Human Rights Council. Noting Congress' role in funding the UN, he pledged to "increase the pressure" for real reforms there.

In an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, McCarthy criticized President Joe Biden for not yet hosting Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House. He said, "If that [a visit to the White House] doesn't happen, I'll invite the prime minister to come meet with the House. He's a dear friend, as a prime minister of a country that we have our closest ties with."


While the House delegation led by Speaker McCarthy was bipartisan, a Democratic delegation led by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) met with Netanyahu in Israel just a few days before the Speaker arrived. Yesterday, Axios reported that those Democrats had a more critical message for Netanyahu:

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and other Democratic lawmakers told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month that his government’s judicial overhaul plan makes it harder for them to defend Israel in the US.


One of the members of Congress who attended the meeting confirmed the [Democratic] delegation did tell Netanyahu the judicial overhaul makes it harder for them to speak up for Israel.


"I can confirm that this very message was shared with Netanyahu by the delegation and, in particular, by each of the Jewish members at the table," said the lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer details about a private meeting.

Tlaib Calls Israel an Apartheid State, Dems Say Nothing

After addressing the Israeli Knesset on May 1, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted out praise of the special relationship between the US and Israel. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) responded with a tweet of her own, saying:

Speaker McCarthy wants to rewrite history but the apartheid state of Israel was born out of violence and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.


75 years later, the Nakba continues to this day.

Fox News reported on what happened next:

Twitter's new fact checking system hit back at Rep. Rashida Tlaib after the Michigan Democrat called Israel an "apartheid state" … [Her tweet] was the subject of an instant fact check by Twitter, with notes below the post pointing out several errors.


… Tlaib's tweet also received scorn from other users of the platform, including former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who argued the Michigan Democrat was "a bit off" on the facts.


"You’re a bit off on this congresswoman," Friedman said in a response on Twitter. "Actually, the State of Israel was born notwithstanding the unsuccessful Palestinian attempts at ethnic cleansing to remove the Jews, through acts of terror and collaboration with Hitler (whose dear friend was Grand Mufti of Jerusalem)."

Democrats in Congress had nothing to say about their colleague’s lies about Israel and neither did the Biden White House.

While Democrats continue to coddle antisemites,
we know there is only ONE truly pro-Israel party: the Republican Party.


Please make a contribution to the RJC
so that we can continue working hand-in-hand with the GOP
to hold antisemites like Tlaib, Omar, and others accountable for their vile rhetoric


He’s Running. Again.

At Moment Magazine, Nathan Guttman reviews the responses from Jewish Republicans and Jewish Democrats to President Joe Biden’s announcement that he would seek re-election in 2024. Guttman quotes from the RJC’s response:

In a statement, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) listed its grievances against Biden, noting that "Joe Biden has been derelict in his duty to keep Jewish Americans safe, kowtowing to the most radical elements of his party and legitimizing ascendant far left voices. On Biden’s watch, antisemitic hate crimes have skyrocketed."


… Another claim raised by Biden’s Jewish critics is that he and his party have not done enough to rein in Democrats who hold anti-Israel views. The RJC has pointed to Dems’ battle to keep Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar on the Foreign Affairs Committee as a sign of their siding with antisemitic forces in the party’s left wing.


… "Out-of-control inflation continues to hammer hardworking families, the southern border is in crisis, criminals terrorize residents on city streets as liberal prosecutors sit idly by, and our country is treated as a punchline on the world stage," writes the RJC.

Guttman concludes in a blasé manner that: "It’s safe to guess that Biden has little to worry about with Jewish voters. If 2024 turns out to be a rematch between Biden and [Donald] Trump, the Jewish vote will probably split similarly to 2020, which by most estimates was well over 60/40 for Biden."


What he fails to say is that Trump received 30% of the Jewish vote in 2020, an increase of 6 points over 2016 and more than any other Republican candidate for President since Ronald Reagan (who received 39% of the Jewish vote in 1980). By setting the bar at 60/40, Guttman is already conceding a historically bad showing for a Democratic presidential candidate.

Democrats refuse to condemn anti-Israel statements from the "Squad" (Clockwise from bottom left: Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen, Raphael Warnock, and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayana Pressley, Cori Bush, and Rashida Tlaib).

Democrats are Failing Jewish Americans

In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, the Republican National Committee has put out a fact sheet listing reasons why Jewish Americans are finding a home in the Republican Party. Here are some of their points:

The Republican Party has a long history of breaking down barriers with the Jewish community. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed the first Jewish Cabinet member in 1906 (Oscar Straus). The first Jewish woman elected to Congress was Republican Florence Prag Kahn in 1925. Senator Barry Goldwater was the first presidential nominee of Jewish descent. And there are many more Jewish “firsts” in the Republican Party.


Democrats refuse to condemn growing antisemitism in their party. We know the records of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), along with other members of their "Squad," such as Rep. Cori Bush and Senator Raphael Warnock. Their antisemitic comments are met with silence from their Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate.


Biden and Democrats have failed to stand up to anti-Israel activists. These include President Joe Biden’s failures to support Israel in the UN, administration efforts to open a Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem, and House Democrats trying to slash Iron Dome funding for Israel.

There’s more to see here. This is an excellent resource to share on social media.

Short Takes

The new – or perhaps renewed – Cold War

Founder and President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Clifford D. May writes that the Cold War is not over, because it wasn’t conflict between countries; it was a conflict of ideologies. The Soviet Union is gone, but the Communist China is still a Marxist-Leninist threat to the West. May writes: "If you think I exaggerate you’re not listening to Chinese President Xi Jinping who has declared that it is his 'historical mission' to utilize 'the tools of dictatorship' to realize a future in which ‘capitalism will inevitably perish, and socialism will inevitably triumph.'" We don’t want "historians of the future to write that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a battle won in a war lost because Americans wrongly believed the war had ended."

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