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From left: US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Special Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, White House adviser Jared Kushner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, meeting in Jerusalem, June 22, 2018. Credit: US Embassy in Israel.

'Future of Judea & Samaria': Former US Envoy Unveils Sovereignty Plan

Alex Traiman writes at JNS that former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is proposing an alternative plan to the usual proposal to divide Israel into two states:

[Friedman's plan] recognizes the Jewish state’s biblical claims to Judea and Samaria, as well as Israel’s abilities to police the territory and build lasting infrastructure that can improve the standard of living for all the residents of the world’s most contested territory.


The plan, dubbed "The Future of Judea & Samaria" and devised by the former ambassador’s Friedman Center for Peace Through Strength, seeks to deliver a "solution that protects Israel’s security, respects Biblical covenants and affords civil rights and human dignity to all."


...The Friedman Center’s "Vision for the Future" seeks to extend Israeli sovereignty to the disputed area as part of a tripartite agreement between the Jewish state, the United States and an "expanded group" of Muslim countries that have normalized ties with Israel under the Abraham Accords.


In exchange, Palestinians in Judea and Samaria will be awarded permanent residency and travel documents, but no rights to vote for the Knesset in Jerusalem. (In his plan, Friedman cites the example of Puerto Rico and Guam, whose residents do not vote in federal elections.)


In addition, Gulf countries will be asked to fund a "Marshall Plan" to improve the Palestinians’ economic conditions.

In response to questions from Traiman, Amb. Friedman explained:

...In a nutshell, the plan provides for Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, permanent residency of all Palestinians living in that territory, and American and Gulf support for a "Marshall Plan" to bring better healthcare, education and prosperity to the region. It is a win-win plan that comports with biblical covenants, security concerns and the advancement of human dignity for every one of God’s creatures.


...[The Palestinians will have] essentially all the rights that do not threaten Israel. That includes the right to live in their homes in perpetuity, to vote for their local leaders and to transact business within Israel and the rest of the world.


...Under our plan, Palestinians will be assured of permanent residency in their homes and receive a significant upgrade in infrastructure, healthcare, education and overall prosperity.

Click Here to Help Civilians and Soldiers in Israel

RJC in the News

NYT: Biden caught in a political bind over Israel policy

The Biden administration’s decree that the United States will once again consider new Jewish settlements on the West Bank to be "inconsistent with international law" highlighted a political bind President [Joe] Biden finds himself in just days before the Democratic primary on Tuesday in Michigan, where a large Arab American population is urging voters to register their anger by voting "uncommitted."


Mr. Biden’s recent moves to press the Israeli government toward cease-fire negotiations have angered ardent supporters of the Jewish state. Yet they have come nowhere close to placating Israel’s fiercest critics on the political left and in the Arab American community.


...The Republican Jewish Coalition, which had expressed approval of what it called the president’s "tremendous support" for Israel after Oct. 7, called the administration’s reversal on settlements "yet another lowlight to its campaign of undermining Israel."


"The communities at issue, located west of the West Bank security barrier, are not preventing peace,” the group’s chief executive officer, Matt Brooks, said. "Palestinian terrorism is."


The group ticked off other policies the administration has implemented to rein in Israel’s pro-settler policies, including sanctions against West Bank settlers who commit acts of violence and pressuring the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recognize a Palestinian state.

Read the full RJC statement here.

JNS: RJC endorses Rep. Virginia Foxx, House education committee chair

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) has announced its newest endorsement in this year’s election cycle, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC).


RJC national chairman Norm Coleman, a former senator of Minnesota, and CEO Matt Brooks said that she “has solidified her reputation as a stalwart friend of Jewish Americans with her exemplary leadership since Hamas attacked Israel last Oct. 7.”


Coleman and Brooks said: “As chairwoman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Foxx was indispensable in bringing necessary attention to the urgent problem of antisemitism on American college campuses. She oversaw the December hearing that brought national attention and accountability to the presidents of Harvard, Penn and MIT.”

Read the full RJC statement here.


RJC: Statement on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

The Republican Jewish Coalition released the following statement regarding Senator Mitch McConnell's announcement that he will step down as Senate Republican Leader in November.


RJC National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman said:


"Over the course of almost two decades as the leader of Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell has been a great supporter of Jewish Americans and the causes that are important to us.


"For me personally, Senator McConnell was a mentor and an inspiration. Serving with him was one of the highlights of my time in the US Senate.


"On behalf of the Republican Jewish Coalition, thank you Senator McConnell for your unwavering friendship and congratulations on your successful tenure as Republican Leader."


RJC CEO Matt Brooks said:


"Senator McConnell’s accomplishments are too numerous to detail, but American Jews are especially appreciative right now for his leadership since Hamas launched its brutal attacks against Israel on October 7.


"We hope that President [Joe] Biden will adopt Senator McConnell’s posture of unflinching solidarity: 'Our responsibility as an ally is to provide the time, space, and support Israel needs to finish the job… to condemn shameful attempts at moral equivalence to excuse the genocidal violence of Hamas terrorists and apply double standards to Israel… And to offer counsel to our ally in private, not in front-page genuflections to the President’s left-wing base.'"


NY Post: Majority of New York Jews to vote for Trump in presidential election: poll

A staggering 53% of Jewish voters in New York state plan on voting for former President Donald Trump in the November election, a new Siena College poll found.


Just 44% of the Chosen People in the deep-blue state will back President Joe Biden in the race, according to the survey, which polled 65 Jews out of 806 total voters.


...The latest polls demonstrate a shift in the New York Jewish vote that is a "clear trend, long in the making," Sam Markstein, national political director for the Republican Jewish Coalition, wrote on X.


Markstein cited Lee Zeldin’s failed 2022 gubernatorial race, with the former Long Island Representative receiving 46% of the Jewish vote after campaigning on defending yeshivas amid heightened scrutiny and bashing the state’s criminal justice reform laws.


JNS: Is Biden worrying about losing the wrong voters?

There have already been some signs of a shift in Jewish voting patterns. For example, in 2022, 45% of Florida Jewish residents voted to re-elect Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. National exit polls also showed that in 2022, one-third of Jews voted for Republicans—an increase over past years. In New York, Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin, who is Jewish, did better than the average GOP candidate, sweeping in areas like Rockland County north of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn that have large Jewish populations.


While New York is not in play this year, even a slight shift in the Jewish vote in battleground states like Pennsylvania, where Jews outnumber Muslims by 3-1, could turn the election as surely as any shift in the Arab vote could swing Michigan.


Those trends are likely to be even stronger this year with even liberal Jews worrying about left-wing antisemitism, and with anti-Israel and openly antisemitic members of Congress getting more attention as a result of Israel’s war against Hamas.


That’s why we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the Siena poll or to think that Biden might not have a bigger problem with many Jewish voters than his campaign thinks.


According to President George W. Bush’s White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, the poll was "stunning." Fleischer, a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, told me: "Even if you discount this for being out of line, Biden’s frequent criticisms of Israel and the unwarranted pressure he is applying to the Jewish state during a fight for its survival, is causing his support to crater among a reliably Democratic constituency."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken’s Reversal of 'Pompeo Doctrine' All About Politics, Experts Say

Josh Hasten writes at JNS about how experts view the Biden administration's declaration that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are "inconsistent with international law," a reversal of the Trump-era Pompeo Doctrine:

[Secretary of State Antony] Blinken’s comments fly in the face of a Nov. 18, 2019 policy briefing by Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in which he stated "the Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements." He added: "The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law."


...Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum and of the Scalia Law School’s Center for the Middle East and International Law at George Mason University in Washington, briefed Pompeo before the announcement of his doctrine.


"The fact that the Biden administration didn’t consider Israeli settlements illegal for over three years, and only came to that conclusion after Hamas invaded, raped and massacred Israelis, shows that this is not really about law, or legal arguments, but about brute force," Kontorovich told JNS. "They are succumbing to Hamas’s brute force, and the brute force of the pro-Hamas protesters in the United States."


What’s more important than the actual reversal itself, he added, “is the signal about the increasingly pro-Hamas line of the administration.”


Kontorovich concluded by saying there was no doubt Blinken’s reversal was political.


"The timing shows that this is very much about the upcoming elections. This is a position that wasn’t adopted by presidents [Barack] Obama or [Bill] Clinton during their time in office and indeed has never been the position of the United States since before President [Ronald] Reagan," he said.

The RJC harshly condemned the Biden administration for overturning the Trump-Pompeo Doctrine. Read our full statement here.


Help Republicans Win in 2024!


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Short Takes

WSJ: Hamas’s agricultural terrorism

A part of the story of October 7th you may not have heard before: "Terrorists targeted farmland, livestock, plants and infrastructure as they made their way across the western Negev, which produces roughly 70% of the country’s vegetables, 20% of its fruit and 6% of its milk... Hamas terrorists damaged greenhouses and barns, many beyond repair. They slashed crop nets and flooded orchards. They burned irrigation pipes and shot at fertigation systems. They destroyed the filtration system for the local reservoir... Known for producing some of the world’s sweetest tomatoes, Israel is now importing them. Lettuce and onion shortages are expected, and up to 20% of strawberry fields were abandoned. Estimates of income losses and infrastructure damage total more than $500 million.

JPC: Israel must go ahead with an operation in Rafah

IDF Col. (ret.) Gabi Siboni writes on the importance of the IDF's continued operations in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, and in the Philadelphi Corridor. He writes: "The operation in Rafah is necessary and inevitable. So too is cutting off Hamas’ smuggling route along the Philadelphi Corridor. The IDF will have to create for itself complete operational freedom of action for decades to come in Gaza in order to eliminate any possibility of a rebuilding of terrorist capabilities there. There will also have to be a long process of de-Hamasification. Operating in Rafah and other terrorist centers in Gaza is an essential component in achieving the goals of the war..."

The Algemeiner: Vast majority of American voters back Israel in war again Hamas, new poll reveals

The vast bulk of American voters back Israel in its bid to oust Hamas from Gaza, with clear majorities expressing support for Israel’s ongoing military operations alongside opposition to a ceasefire that does not involve the release of more than 100 hostages still held captive by the terrorist group, according to a new Harvard-Harris poll released this week. Asked whether they back Israel or Hamas more in the current conflict, 82 percent of voters chose Israel. A further 68 percent agreed that Israel was trying to avoid inflicting civilian casualties in Gaza as it seeks to eradicate Hamas from the territory. Asked whether a ceasefire should be put in place, 68 percent of the respondents said that such a move should be conditional on the release of the remainder of the hostages.

Jewish Insider: Progressives push to preserve aid for UNRWA in 2024 government funding bill

Congressional progressives are urging key congressional leaders to provide funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as part of the upcoming 2024 government funding process... Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), André Carson (D-IN) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) led 47 colleagues on a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees — which are currently working to hammer out the details of 2024 government funding — calling on them to provide full funding for UNRWA in the upcoming bill.






RJC National Leadership Meeting
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