Republican Jewish Coalition

The RJC Weekly Newsletter

May 28, 2020

Your weekly look at the latest news, analysis, and RJC activities around the country.

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While RJC offices are closed and our staff are teleworking, you can reach us by email or by phone (please leave a voicemail message and your call will be returned). Contact information for our offices can be found on our web site. Please visit us online for the latest RJC news, to volunteer for our 2020 outreach efforts, to see details of upcoming events (when they resume), and to donate to the RJC.


— Featured —

RJC in the News

• The RJC supports Randy Feenstra’s effort to unseat Rep. Steve King in the GOP primary next week in Iowa’s fourth congressional district. Jacob Kornbluh notes in the Jewish Insider

King has a history of making bigoted comments against a variety of minority groups, and has faced criticism for his association with far-right political parties in Europe… Last year, House Republican leaders voted to remove King from the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees following comments that appeared to defend white nationalists and white supremacists.

Feenstra, who serves as assistant majority leader in the Iowa State Senate, supports our ally Israel and has praised the pro-Israel policies of President Donald Trump. Kornbluh quotes RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks on what is important in this race:

“Steve King’s comments put him clearly outside of the mainstream of the Republican Party and they certainly don’t reflect or represent what we feel to be the values of the Republican Jewish Coalition,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks told JI. “And given that we think we have a strong candidate who can win in Randy Feenstra, we felt it important to take a stand and to make a clear statement that we will do everything in our power to defeat King in the primary and to elect somebody who is better representative of our values.”

… RJC’s Brooks pushed back against criticism that his organization has abandoned a strong supporter of Israel [in King]. “Because somebody stands with us on Israel, which we appreciate, that does not give them a pass to support white nationalism and embrace white nationalist candidates,” Brooks said. “Our endorsement and our support transcends that — Randy Feenstra is going to be a great friend and outspoken supporter of Israel.”

Brooks noted that the action taken against King by the House Republican Caucus “stands in stark contrast to the lack of action by any of the leaders on the Democratic side with regard to the blatant antisemitism of [Rep.] Ilhan Omar and the offensive and troubling comments by Omar and [Rep.] Rashida Tlaib.” He added, “Republicans have shown that there are clear red lines and act when people within our party cross those lines.”

Other major media outlets are reporting on the Feenstra-King race and noting the RJC’s support for Feenstra, including Politico, ABC News, and USA Today.  


The Algemeiner reports

Pro-Israel Jewish groups expressed appreciation to US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as he is expected to step down from his role, which he assumed two years ago in May 2018.

…“We have the deepest admiration for Ambassador Grenell and thank him for his tireless work on our country’s behalf. Grenell’s work combating antisemitism in Europe, advocating for our ally, Israel, and taking on Russia’s attempts to insinuate itself into Western Europe has been among the most important diplomatic work in decades,” said Republican Jewish Coalition spokesperson Neil Strauss in a statement.

• RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks appeared on i24News for an interview with Calev Ben-David. They discussed the Jewish vote in 2020 and the stark contrast between Donald Trump and Joe Biden for the American people and the Jewish community in particular. Watch it here


Police guard a road to deter pro-democracy protesters, Hong Kong, May 27, 2020.


The Problem of China

China not only gave us the coronavirus that has now killed over 100,000 Americans; it is reported that China is also trying to steal American research into the virus. Republicans in Congress want to know more. Washington Free Beacon reports

Republican lawmakers are demanding the FBI and other federal officials provide them with information about recent disclosures that China hacked US coronavirus research.

A group of lawmakers on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee wrote to leaders of the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) asking them to provide details about China's efforts to steal American health data and intellectual property belonging to US organizations currently conducting research on the coronavirus.

Freedom-loving people have watched the Chinese attempts to end the autonomy and freedom of the people of Hong Kong with growing alarm. Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that the city of Hong Kong is no longer an “autonomous” entity. Zachary Evans writes at National Review

“The State Department is required by the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the autonomy of the territory from China,” Pompeo wrote in a statement. “I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as US laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997. No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China…it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.”

In light of the ongoing challenges that China poses to the economy, security, and health of the United States and other Western countries, the US has asked its allies to sever ties with China in areas with security risks. This includes Israel. Lahav Harkov reports in the Jerusalem Post

Israel has selected local company IDE Technologies, rather than a Chinese firm, to construct the world’s largest desalination plant, the government announced Tuesday.

…The US has asked its allies, including Israel, in recent weeks to sever ties with China – Israel’s third-largest trading partner – in areas with security risks, a US official with knowledge of talks on the matter said last week.

In the same vein, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman chose Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel as the first minister in the new government with whom he held a meeting, along with Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Zvi Hauser, the other member of the Derech Eretz faction.

Sources in Derech Eretz confirmed that the matter of 5G and Chinese technological investments in Israel came up in the meeting.

Lisa Scheller, Jewish Republican candidate in PA-7

2020 Election News

• RJC-endorsed candidate Lisa Scheller was profiled by Jacob Kornbluh in the Jewish Insider this week. Scheller, who is an RJC Leader, is running in Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district. Kornbluh writes:

If elected, Scheller will increase Jewish representation in Congress on the Republican side and is one of a few candidates vying to be elected as the next Jewish Republican congresswoman. Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks told JI his organization “is very excited” about Scheller’s candidacy. “We believe that she has an outstanding chance of joining Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and David Kustoff (R-TN) as Jewish Republicans in the House come November,” Brooks predicted. He added that Scheller “has got the right mix, drive, and passion that will make her not just a leader in Congress but somebody who will be outspoken on the issues that the Jewish community cares about.”

Click here to support Lisa Scheller for Congress


Ryan Lizza and Daniel Lippman at Politico report that Jason Furman, a top economist in the Obama administration and now a professor at Harvard, is terrifying Democratic policy advisors with his prediction that the economy will quickly rebound from the coronavirus lockdown. He told them: “We are about to see the best economic data we’ve seen in the history of this country.”


Lizza and Lippman write

Furman’s counterintuitive pitch has caused some Democrats, especially Obama alumni, around Washington to panic. “This is my big worry,” said a former Obama White House official who is still close to the former president. Asked about the level of concern among top party officials, he said, “It’s high — high, high, high, high.”

…The former Obama White House official said, “Even today when we are at over 20 million unemployed Trump gets high marks on the economy, so I can’t imagine what it looks like when things go in the other direction. I don’t think this is a challenge for the Biden campaign. This is the challenge for the Biden campaign. If they can’t figure this out they should all just go home.”


Countdown to Election Day


The RJC is committed to reelecting President Donald Trump, keeping the Senate, and winning back the House. We encourage our members to participate in our outreach phonebank project to help Republicans win in November. It's easy, and you can do it from home! Here's how YOU can help: 

- Sign up to call Jewish voters from home by clicking HERE
- Fill out all of the fields.
- Listen to the instructions and write down your username and password when a member of the RJC Victory Team contacts you.
- Make as many phone calls as you can. Everyone you speak to is a potential vote for President Trump and the GOP!


Sign up now and you could be the next RJC Volunteer of the Week!



The Republican Jewish Coalition is hiring field staff for our advocacy efforts in support of President Donald Trump’s reelection in various battleground states. CLICK HERE for details and application information. 



The RJC PAC has endorsed a terrific slate of House and Senate incumbents, and we need them to continue their work on Capitol Hill! CLICK HERE to donate through the RJC PAC portal and show your support for our great candidates!


And don't forget your RJC/Trump kippah! 
Our extremely popular red Trump kippah is now for sale for just $18. This includes shipping and handling. Supplies are limited. 



— Short Takes —

End of the Obama era

Victor Davis Hanson notes that after years of suppression, the truth about the bad actions of Obama administration officials is coming to light. He writes: “The scandalous list is so overwhelming and bizarre that it ensures that anything at any time can now appear. And the result keeps reminding Americans of how corrupt were the years between 2009 and 2017 and how untruthful was the coverage of such institutionalized wrongdoing.”
Read the whole thing.


US to end waivers allowing foreign firms to work at Iranian nuclear sites

The Trump administration announced that it would end waivers that have allowed Russian, Chinese, and European companies to continuously operate at Iranian nuclear facilities, ending the last vestiges of sanctions relief under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.


Trump to sign Never Again Education Act into law

US President Donald Trump is expected to sign the Never Again Education Act into law today. The Act seeks to expand Holocaust education in the United States.


Ilhan Omar complains about “rubber stamp”

In an interview with The Sunday Times (UK) Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) commented that “money and influence and connection” are how Saudi Arabia and Israel get the Trump administration to “rubber stamp” their “destructive” policies. She seems to think if she adds Saudi Arabia in there, it sounds less anti-Semitic.


Open Skies: The cassette deck of treaties

Shoshana Bryen writes about the Open Skies Treaty, which permits member countries to conduct aerial reconnaissance of each other’s territory and collect data on military forces and activities. Russia has been cheating on the treaty for years. Bryen points out that new technology – and an appropriate wariness of Russia – make leaving the treaty a matter of American national security.


— Tweets —








— Events —


RJC Victory Team National Day of Action


Please join us for the upcoming RJC Victory Team Virtual Days of Action scheduled for Tuesday, June 2Thursday, June 4, Tuesday June 9, and Thursday, June 11. We'll continue our calls to potential Jewish voters in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona, key battleground states of the 2020 election cycle. Click here to sign up and help! 


We look forward to scheduling in-person grassroots events and resuming our chapter activities around the country as soon as possible. Don't forget to check our web site for updates. 


We also encourage you to check out the terrific content and virtual events offered by our sister organization, the Jewish Policy Center.


— Connect —

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