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Biden Admin "Blew It" on Antisemitism Policy

RJC CEO Matt Brooks today expressed deep disappointment in the Biden administration for not exclusively using the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the definition favored by mainstream Jewish organizations across the political spectrum, in his long-promised national strategy to counter antisemitism:

Joe Biden had a chance to take a strong stand against antisemitism and he blew it.


The IHRA definition of antisemitism is the definition endorsed by every mainstream Jewish organization. Biden’s own Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism has urged other countries to “embrace” it as an “integral” tool against the rising tide of Jew-hatred. The IHRA definition is indispensable because it recognizes that criticism of Israel is antisemitic when it delegitimizes, demonizes, or applies double standards to Israel.


After initial reports that its new strategy would enshrine the IHRA definition, the Biden administration came under heavy pressure from the anti-Israel left, forcing a delay in the roll-out. Now, hours before a Jewish holiday and in the waning days of Jewish American Heritage Month, the White House is attempting a last-minute straddle – undermining the IHRA definition by promoting alongside it an alternative definition that says applying double standards and singling out the Jewish state for criticism is not antisemitic.


This decision seriously weakens the White House strategy. It is yet another instance of Biden caving to the anti-Israel radicals who constitute a growing Democratic constituency at both the elected and grassroots levels. It’s clear that only a Republican president will fully embrace the IHRA definition and put the full force of the federal government behind the fight against antisemitism in all its forms.

As background, earlier this week the CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, William Daroff, made the case for the exclusive use of the IHRA definition in the White House strategy:

Adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, known as IHRA, is an essential and seminal tool to combat anti-Jewish hate.


Support for adopting the IHRA definition is significant, as seen in a letter last week from over 175 Jewish community organizations around the world, a letter last week from over 600 rabbis from all four Jewish streams and dozens of letters from American Jewish organizations, all making the important case for adoption of the IHRA definition. Members of Congress have weighed in. Mayors have weighed in. Across the board, a strong and clear consensus of support exists for the definition.


The IHRA definition is the most authoritative and internationally accepted definition of antisemitism. Forty-one nations, as well as hundreds of local governments, academic institutions, NGOs and other entities have formally adopted in different ways the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Over half — 31 — American states also adopted it.


…One particular aspect of the IHRA definition that draws attention — and criticism from some groups — is its treatment of the relationship between anti-Israel bias and antisemitism. For too long, definitions of antisemitism failed to account for how anti-Zionism often serves as a cover for antisemitism. Forms of antisemitism that are masked as “anti-Zionism” and that deny the right of the Jewish people to self-determination are among those most frequently encountered by many Jews today, whether or not they are Zionists, as documented in surveys by the Anti-Defamation League and by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Democrat Rep. Colin Allred is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2024 election.

Cruz Challenger Who Says He's Pro-Israel Rakes in $200K From Anti-Israel Group

Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon reports:

The Texas Democrat running to unseat Senator Ted Cruz says he supports Israel but has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from an anti-Israel group.


Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) has taken nearly $200,000 in campaign donations from J Street, which routinely criticizes Israel for defending itself against Palestinian terrorism. The group has given Allred, who claims to be a "strong supporter of the State of Israel," just under $8,000 since March, and $118,025 in total since 2018, according to federal election disclosures. It has also established an Allred donation page on its website, which also serves as a forum for attacks on Cruz and his pro-Israel policies.


The donations could hurt Allred’s chances of unseating Cruz, who has won praise in Texas for supporting Israel and fighting the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which wages economic warfare on Israel. Texas is home to around 120,000 Jews, and the state’s Republican Party enjoys close ties with Israel.


"Anti-Israel J Street’s endorsement of Texas Democrat Colin Allred comes as no surprise, because Allred aligns with J Street’s radicalism," said Sam Markstein, national political director for the Republican Jewish Coalition. "Allred fancies himself a moderate, but he voted to keep anti-Semite Ilhan Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, supported the disastrous [Iran] nuclear deal."

Show your support for Senator Ted Cruz,
a strong friend of Israel and the RJC,
by donating to his campaign through the RJCPAC.


2024 Presidential Field Grows

Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis kicked off his long-anticipated campaign for President with an appearance with Elon Musk live on Twitter last night. (Transcript here.) While technical issues initially marred the event, DeSantis' message came through loud and clear. He talked about American revitalization and about rejecting woke ideology, solving the border crisis, and bringing back integrity and accountabiity in government. He described the successful policies he's brought to Florida and his commitment to free thought and free speech.


You can watch Gov. DeSantis's remarks at the 2022 RJC Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas here. And video of his appearance at the February 28, 2023 RJC event in Florida with Ben Shapiro is here.


Did you know? If Ron DeSantis becomes president of the United States, he would be the first commander in chief since George H. W. Bush — three full decades ago — to have served his country in uniform in a combat zone.

Tim Scott

Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina formally announced his run for US President this week. Watch his first campaign video here.


Scott grew up poor and made his own way, backed by family, faith, and hard work. In the video, he says, "I know America is a land of opportunity, not a land of oppression. I know it because I’ve lived it. That’s why it pains my soul to see the Biden liberals attacking every rung of the ladder that helped me climb…"


In 2013, Tim Scott became the South’s first Black Senator since Reconstruction. He has a strong conservative record and he supports a strong US military, a strong US economy, and a strong US-Israel alliance.


You can watch his appearance at the 2022 RJC Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas here.


Did you know? In his 2002 book, America, A Redemption Story, Sen. Scott wrote: "Injustice is real. But infinitely more real is opportunity." He also said, "There are two ways to view history. One is to shine an unwavering light on the myriad atrocities that have befallen us. And there is nothing wrong with having a realistic and honest accounting of history. In fact, it’s vital that we do so. It helps us to keep from repeating it. From my experience, however, dwelling on the pain of the past for too long threatens to keep us mired there. When I look back, I prefer to focus on how far we’ve come. Only then can I envision how beautiful the road ahead could be."

Short Takes

Elon Musk is right about George Soros—and not antisemitic

Alan Dershowitz writes: "Elon Musk has been accused of anti-Semitism because of his criticism and mockery of George Soros. Mr. Soros is Jewish; Mr. Musk isn’t. But Mr. Musk stands falsely accused. Mr. Soros is an active participant in politics, and his Jewishness shouldn’t shield him from criticism. Further, no single person has done more to damage Israel’s standing in the world, especially among so-called progressives, than George Soros."

Do the Europeans know or care where their aid to the PA goes?

Maurice Hirsch of Palestinian Media Watch does the math on how the Palestinian Authority uses the millions of dollars in aid the European Union provides to the PA each year. In particular, he looks at the declared salaries of PA civil servants since 2016. There turns out to be a huge difference between what the PA reports to the world that it paid to its civil servants, and the amount that PA internal documents show. What happens to the rest of the money? Perhaps it goes to "paying huge financial rewards to incentivize, promote and reward terror," or in other words, "Pay for Slay" funding.

The Biden administration's legacy: Iranian regime armed with unlimited nuclear bombs

Majid Rafizadeh writes at the Gatestone Institute: "In March 2023, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told the House Armed Services Committee that Iran's nuclear program had made 'remarkable' progress and that it would take Iran 12 days to build a nuclear bomb. Ever since the Biden Administration assumed office, the Iranian regime has been accelerating its enrichment of uranium to 'near weapons grade' and declining to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)…At present, the ruling mullahs of Iran reportedly have enough enriched uranium to produce five nuclear bombs."

Four ways US support for Ukraine helps defend Taiwan

Gabriel Scheinmann, executive director of the Alexander Hamilton Society, writes: "In the U.S. political debate, an often-heard criticism of military assistance to Ukraine is that it takes up resources needed against a far more dangerous threat: China. These critics argue that funding, arms, and other efforts to support Ukraine and deter Russian aggression in Europe should instead be oriented toward the Pacific and the far more potent threat of a Chinese attack on Taiwan… The critics are wrong. Rather than distracting from Pacific security and the defense of Taiwan, aid to Ukraine is enabling it." He outlines four ways that arming Ukraine has materially improved the ability to deter or defeat a Chinese attack on Taiwan.

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RJC offices will be closed on Friday, May 26 in observance of Shavuot.

RJC offices will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.



NY: Breakfast Roundtable with Rep. Max Miller (OH-7)
Meet the newest Jewish Republican member of the US Congress at this in-person event in mid-town Manhattan.





Atlanta: Event with Rep. Barry Loudermilk
Join us for an in-person event featuring a legislative update from Rep. Loudermilk.



RJC offices are open! Contact information for our offices can be found on our website. 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.

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