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Take advantage of the Early Bird ticket price and our discounted room block by registering now for the 2024 RJC Annual Leadership Summit, Wednesday, September 4 to Friday, September 6, 2024. Be part of the biggest and best political event of the year!

Matt Brooks (center, blue shirt) with Vice President Mike Pence in Sderot, Israel, for a tour and a briefing on the battle that took place in the city during the Hamas attack on Israel.

Brooks: A Moving Visit to Israel

Last week, RJC CEO Matt Brooks had the opportunity to accompany former Vice President Mike Pence to Israel for a four-day visit. They went to bear witness to the horrific Hamas attack on October 7, to visit with families of the hostages held in Gaza, to speak with families displaced by the war, to be briefed by military officers near Gaza and on the northern front, and to meet with Israeli government leaders. It was a deeply moving experience, which Matt describes in an article published here:

...We arrived on Thursday and first visited the south of Israel, spending time in Sderot, a city that has been pounded by Hamas rockets for years and was the site of a fierce battle between Hamas terrorists and Israeli police on October 7. I have visited Sderot many times and the strength and resilience of the residents here is tremendously inspiring. At this time, thousands of residents have been displaced for their own safety, but plans are already underway for their return home.


Our next stop was Kfar Aza, a kibbutz less than two miles from the Gaza border and one of several that was attacked on October 7, the day Israelis call "Black Saturday." Dozens of residents were massacred or taken hostage from this kibbutz and the fighting here lasted for two days. We saw the indescribably horrific brutality and inhumanity of Hamas with our own eyes.


We then traveled to the fields near Kibbutz Re'im, where the Supernova music festival took place and where the Hamas attack claimed its first victims. Seeing the memorials there, including for Americans killed that day, was intensely moving. Each name, each face, represents a whole world to their bereaved families. Many of the hostages still held in Gaza were taken from the festival.


Later in the trip, we met with the hostage families. It was gut wrenching to speak with these brave people, who are hour by hour in the deepest pain for their loved ones held captive in Gaza.

The next morning, Friday, we were in Jerusalem. It was an honor to meet with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and to join Vice President Pence in expressing the unwavering support of the American people for Israel and its citizens. We offered our condolences, our support, and our pledge that America will always stand with Israel...


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu briefed Vice President Pence and our delegation on the current situation. In this meeting, as in every event on this trip, the message we brought to Israelis was, "America is with you. The American people support you. America will always stand with Israel!" It was a privilege for me to participate in this mission and to share in bringing this message to our friends in Israel...

Read the full article and see more photos from the trip here.

Dave McCormick in Kfar Aza during his recent visit to Israel.

Joe Biden and Bob Casey Fail the Israel Test

Dave McCormick, a Republican candidate for the US Senate for Pennsylvania, writes at the Wall Street Journal about seeing the 47-minute compilation of videos from October 7 and what it reconfirmed for him:

The footage should be a wake-up call for those in power and mandatory viewing for every member of Congress, Biden administration official, and delegate to the United Nations. It’s a window into the evil underlying Hamas, and jihadism more broadly, that will shake any leader with a conscience.


Some of America’s leaders need to be shaken. Thus far, Israel has counted on bipartisan, but the chorus of Democratic dissenters is growing louder, influenced by pro-Hamas activists in our streets. Sen. Bernie Sanders has called to cut off all military aid to Israel, while other Democrats are insisting on a cease-fire that would leave Hamas in charge in Gaza.


It’s time for politicians in both parties to take an unequivocal stand for Israel... Yet US policy enables the true perpetrator of the atrocities in Gaza: Iran.


...Iran gets away with it because American politicians cave. The senator I am challenging in this year’s election, Bob Casey, cast a decisive vote on the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. In November President [Joe] Biden reissued a sanctions waiver that freed up more than $10 billion for Tehran even as its proxies were holding American citizens hostage in Gaza. Messrs. Biden and Casey’s Iran policy is appeasement, and that’s why the Iranians feel confident enough to go on offense against Israel and against American sailors...

You can support the McMormick for Senate campaign online via the RJC PAC Portal here. Dave McCormick will discuss his recent trip to Israel at an RJC event in the Philadelphia area on January 17.


2024 is here!


The RJC PAC is committed to helping Republicans win win majorities in the House and Senate and take back the White House this year!


Visit the RJCPAC Portal and support Republican candidates in key battleground states, including the RJC PAC's most recent endorsees:

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

Blinken Makes Demands on Israel

Lazar Berman, writing at the Times of Israel, evaluates US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's trip to Israel this week:

Despite the ongoing support from the White House, this visit from Blinken felt different. US frustration with Israel’s war leadership was closer to the surface, and disagreements over core issues were at the center of discussions.


...On Gaza... there is far more daylight between the two countries. US President Joe Biden would like to see the war wind down, and is adamant that the humanitarian situation in Gaza must change dramatically.


The White House wants civilians to be able to return to their homes in the northern part of the Strip, and wants the war to lead to a political process toward a Palestinian state.


...But the Biden Administration approach – publicly pushing Israel and repeating its overwhelming desire to keep the conflict limited to Gaza – could come with dangerous unintended consequences.


“The message to the region [underlined during Blinken’s visit] is that the US relationship with Israel is conditional and strained,” said [Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington]. “Whereas the relationship between Iran and Russia and China is not conditional.”


“They’re going about in the way best guaranteed to actually make said [a broader war] happen,” Oren continued. “Think about like this: If you are Iranian, Russian or Chinese and you’re listening to America’s messaging, that, a, it’s not standing foursquare behind Israel, and b, it’s afraid of regional war, is that going to make you less likely or more likely to escalate?”

The International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Israel Accused of "Genocide" Before International Court

JNS reports:

The International Court of Justice in The Hague commenced provisional proceedings against Israel on Thursday morning, with lawyers for South Africa explaining to justices why the country has accused the Jewish state of alleged violations under the Genocide Convention.


...Thursday’s hearing is focused on South Africa’s request for an interim order calling on Jerusalem to halt its operation against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip. The proceedings will likely take years, but an interim order could be issued within a matter of weeks.


The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Its seat is at the Peace Palace in The Hague in the Netherlands. It deals with disputes between states, whereas the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutes individuals.


Although the ICJ has no ability to enforce its judgments, a ruling against Israel could add international pressure to wind down combat operations in Gaza.


...In a move praised by Hamas, South Africa has charged Israel with violating its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention by intending "to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group."


The 1948 Genocide Convention, to which both Israel and South Africa are signatories, was drafted in the wake of the Holocaust to prevent the destruction, or intent to destroy, "in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."

Alan Baker at the Jerusalem Post adds

While nothing is surprising in the international realities in which we live, it is nevertheless ironic that the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the world’s principal judicial organ, is being petitioned by South Africa, at the evident behest and initiative of the Palestinian leadership, to adjudge the State of Israel for the alleged crime of genocide against the Palestinian people of Gaza.


The irony emanates first and foremost from the nature and history of the very term "genocide" – a term coined in 1944 by a Jewish lawyer, Raphael Lemkin, to describe the Nazi atrocities against the Jews during the Holocaust in Europe.


...The irony is all the more intense when one considers that the present armed conflict between Israel and Hamas broke out as a result of a repeated and declared intention, as well as a distinct series of actions by Hamas, to annihilate not only Israel and its population, but to direct its murderous designs against Jews wherever they are.


Since Israel constitutes in and of itself a distinct national, ethnic, racial, and religious entity, one may ask why no country or international organization has sought to apply the criteria inherent in the genocide allegation, to the designs and actions of the Palestinian leadership, including Hamas, both of whom are formally committed to "armed resistance against Israel and to the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state in Israel’s place"..

Click Here to Help Civilians and Soldiers in Israel

Short Takes

Biden's refusal to designate Houthis as terrorists sparks blowback from military leaders

Adam Kredo reports: "The Biden administration’s refusal to redesignate Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a terrorist organization is causing tension with US military leaders in the region as they struggle to counter a rise in attacks by the Iran-backed militant group. Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, leader of US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), which is tasked with responding to Houthi attacks on American assets in the Middle East, told lawmakers in a private meeting that it is harder to combat the Iran-backed terror group since the Biden administration stripped its designation as a foreign terrorist organization."

Mayor Whitmire to appoint Jay Zeidman as chairman of Houston First Corporation

Houston Mayor John Whitmire announced the appointment of venture capital executive Jay Zeidman as Chairman of Houston First Corporation, pending City Council approval. Zeidman has served on the board of Houston First (HFC), the City’s destination marketing organization, since 2017. He most recently served as Vice Chair of the organization’s Finance Committee and played an instrumental role in helping HFC secure the 2028 Republican National Convention. Zeidman is a member of the RJC Board of Directors.

The President’s men don’t go AWOL

Tevi Troy writes at the Wall Street Journal that high level government officials like Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin "are assumed always to be on the clock." Troy offers some choice anecdotes about how that plays out, from his own experience in the White House and from history, before concluding that President Joe Biden should fire Austin for his disappearing act last week.






Turning Nevada Red: The Strategic Plan
RJC CEO Matt Brooks and NV State Director Alan Hedrick will brief Las Vegas Chapter members on the plan to win the battleground state of Nevada for the GOP.





PA: Event with GOP Senate Candidate David McCormick
Join us to hear David McCormick discuss his recent visit to Israel and his January 8, 2024 Wall Street Journal op-ed, "Joe Biden and Bob Casey Fail the Israel Test".





FL: Event with Cong. Brian Mast
Congressman Mast will be giving the Republican Jewish Coalition a special briefing on his recent trip to Israel.





Atlanta: Conversation with Rep. Rich McCormick (GA-06)
Join us for a conversation with Congressman McCormick, an ER physician and Marine/Navy veteran, who now serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Details and RSVP >>


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.

Republican Jewish Coalition
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