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Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN)

Kustoff to Chair New House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group

In another demonstration of the strong support for Israel in the US Congress, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced this week the members of the new Parliamentary Friendship Group with the Israeli Knesset. Jewish Republican Congressman David Kustoff (R-TN) was named chairman of the new group.


The Jerusalem Post quotes Speaker McCarthy saying:

"For the first time in history, the 435 members of the House and the 120 members of the Knesset have a forum to engage directly with one another, seek solutions that benefit our nations, and faithfully represent our peoples’ hopes and dreams together. I look forward to working closely with Speaker [Amir] Ohana in this effort, which I believe will further foster and strengthen the special relationship between Israel and America."

Congressman Kustoff said:

"I am honored to be appointed Chairman of the House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group… I applaud Speaker McCarthy for establishing this group tasked with strengthening the US-Israel relationship and building a better understanding of our two democracies. Now more than ever, it is imperative we show the rest of the world that the United States stands firmly with our greatest friend and ally in the Middle East, Israel. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important initiative."

The House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group consists of 12 members, 7 Republicans and 5 Democrats: Chairman David Kustoff (R-TN), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Anthony D'Esposito (R-NY), John James (R-MI), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Max Miller (R-OH), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), and Nikema Williams (D-GA).

Brooks Responds to Boot’s Anti-Israel Op-Ed

On Monday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Max Boot in which he whines that Israel is becoming an "intolerant" and "illiberal" country, in place of the "secular, socialist Israel" he loved. Boot’s complaints go so far as to put him squarely in the camp of the "progressive" Left who don’t want Israel to exist at all.


Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks responded with a letter to the editor of the Washington Post, which reads in part:

Max Boot believes that Israel has become "a difficult ally" (Opinion; July 31) because, among other things, certain NGOs equate the measures the Jewish state takes to protect itself to apartheid, and because Israel opposes the Biden administration’s efforts to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.


He sounds like Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and their comrades in the "Squad," calling into question the whole US-Israel alliance – which, in fact, provides irreplaceable intelligence, military, technological, and strategic value for America’s security.


… It’s increasingly difficult in the Democratic circles that Max Boot runs in to defend Israel on any level and he doesn’t even try. Instead, his column gives cover to the worst elements of the Democratic Party, which today can’t seem to find any redeeming qualities in the Jewish state. Boot fears that the "secular, socialist Israel" of his youth is "fast disappearing," but the intolerant and illiberal ones in the room are Boot and the anti-Israel wing of the Democratic Party.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib with the flags outside her DC office, January 2023. (Twitter)

Tlaib Attends Anti-Israel Art Show

Last January, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was criticized for a tweet showing her standing outside her Capitol Hill office with three flags instead of the usual two: a US flag, a Michigan state flag, and a "Palestine" flag. The tweet said, "Palestinians may be banned from flying their flag under an apartheid government, but we can still proudly do it at my office. I’m proud to be a Palestinian American and I want the Palestinian people to know that not all Americans support apartheid. No one can erase our existence."


Rep. Tlaib continues to publicly express her anti-Israel ideology. Fox News reports that the Congresswoman attended a recent art show in Detroit with works on display promoting terrorism and calling for the destruction of Israel:

In one picture posted to Facebook, Tlaib is smiling in front of what the Handala Coalition described as an "apartheid wall" with the words "We Will Return." The words appeared to reference a call that pro-Palestinian activists often make for the so-called right of return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel.


…The art show also featured a piece showing a Palestinian woman who appears to be holding a gun with the phrase "Power To Our Freedom Fighters, Glory To Our Martyrs." [Note: The piece was a reworking of the famous image of Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who participated in hijacking civilian aircraft in 1969 and 1970.]


…Prominent pro-Israel activist David Lange and Arab American News also both posted photos of the artwork, which included multiple pieces with the written message "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."

As usual, House Democratic leadership has had no comment on Rep. Tlaib’s anti-Israel activities.

Children in the Jenin refugee camp.

Suggested Reading on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Doesn’t anyone ask why there is a refugee camp in Jenin?

Mitchell Bard reminds us that more than 12,000 people live under terrible conditions in the Jenin refugee camp not because of Israel, but because it benefits the Palestinian Authority to keep them there as part of its propaganda campaign against Israel.


The deadly costs of Biden’s Israel policy
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and the Heritage Foundation’s Victoria Coates write that President Joe Biden’s restoration of funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) has done nothing to help Palestinians but has helped the PA fund terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.

RJC in the News

Tom Howell, Jr. reports at the Washington Times on Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff's remarks at a Jewish summer camp in the Poconos. Emhoff reminisced about attending the same camp when he was young and spoke about the Biden administration's efforts on antisemitism. Howell quotes the Republican Jewish Coalition criticizing the serious flaws in the administration's plan for combating antisemitism:

Sam Markstein, the national political director for the Republican Jewish Coalition, said Mr. Biden "failed to define the problem [of antisemitism] because of pressure from the anti-Israel left."


"While Mr. Emhoff, in a nonpolicy role, can raise awareness, without a clear policy commitment from the White House his summer camp visit is unlikely to amount to much," he said.


...Mr. Markstein said the GOP is seeing progress as Democrats tussle with Israel and its conservative government. A Fox News exit poll after the midterms found 33% of American Jews who voted in the 2022 contests opted for Republicans, compared to 30% in 2020 and 24% in 2016.


A majority of Jewish voters opted for New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Florida Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in the 2022 governor’s races in those states.


But 46% of the Jewish vote went to Republican Lee Zeldin in New York and 45% of it went to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which were records for GOP candidates in both places, according to Mr. Markstein.

Short Takes

RJC on the Tree of Life trial outcome

The JTA quotes Jewish organizations’ responses to the sentencing of Robert Bowers, who murdered 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue on a Shabbat morning in October 2018: "Republican Jewish Coalition: 'Justice for the Tree of Life synagogue victims, their families, and the greater Pittsburgh, PA community. May the memories of those lost continue to be a blessing forever.'"

Passing of Dr. Claire D’Agostino

The RJC notes with profound sadness the passing of former RJC Leader Dr. Claire D’Agostino of Georgia. A pioneering licensed clinical psychologist, she was also deeply involved in Jewish communal affairs. She was a founder of the RJC’s Atlanta Chapter and a valued member of the RJC leadership. Our condolences go out to her husband, Robert, and to her children and the extended family. May her memory be a blessing.

China infects American infrastructure with malware to disrupt US military

US officials are aggressively searching for malware that they say hackers from China have implanted into American infrastructure to disrupt US military operations in the event that the communist nation launches an attack on Taiwan.


...The malware was hidden "deep inside the networks controlling power grids, communications systems and water supplies that feed military bases in the United States and around the world," TheNew York Times reported. It infected systems that impact not only the US military but also US citizens and the economy.

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GA: Book Event with Clay Travis
Meet radio host and author Clay Travis and hear about his new book, American Playbook: A Guide to Winning the Country Back from the Democrats. Signed books available with advance ticket purchase.





TX: Event with Rep. Morgan Luttrell (TX-08)
Join us for a conversation in Houston with Rep. Luttrell, a former US Navy officer serving his first term in Congress.



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