Republican Jewish Coalition

The RJC Weekly Newsletter

June 25, 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, and to donate to the RJC.



— Featured —


The Key Senate Races of 2020


With all the uncertainty about the presidential election and the effort to win back the House of Representatives, it is absolutely vital to preserve Republican control of the Senate. RJC members often ask for information about the key races and candidates, so I'm excited to share some of my observations about the battle for the Senate with you in the weeks ahead.


The class of Senators seeking reelection now were the GOP's majority-makers in 2014. Now, six years later, Democrats' top targets are Senators who flipped previously Democrat seats and made Mitch McConnell the Senate Majority Leader: Cory Gardner of Colorado, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Steve Daines of Montana.


Democrats are also pulling out all the stops to defeat Senator Martha McSally in a special election to fill the last two years of the late Senator John McCain's term in Arizona. And they're once again targeting Susan Collins. My former colleague from Maine is one of the most effective Senators in either party, but it's always a challenging state for the GOP.


Then there are the red states where Democrats will try to sneak up on us. Regardless of the hype, I'm confident that Majority Leader McConnell of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas, and Dan Sullivan of Alaska will be just fine if Republicans are vigilant and generous with support for these proven leaders. I'm also confident that a focused GOP effort in Georgia will secure victory in the special election to fill the last two years of since-retired Senator Johnny Isakson’s term and in Senator David Perdue's reelection bid.


Because the GOP did so well in 2014, there are not many offense opportunities this year, but we will reclaim the Alabama seat liberal Democrat Doug Jones won in a 2017 special election and rising star John James has a real chance to unseat little-known incumbent Gary Peters in Michigan.


Of course, not every Senator is seeking reelection. Voters in Wyoming, Kansas, and Tennessee will pick new Senators, likely all Republicans. The new Senator from New Mexico is likely to be a Democrat.


Bottom line: control of the Senate is up for grabs, and my former colleagues are counting on support from Republican activists like you. We've got the high-quality candidates, but it will be all hands on deck to ensure they have the necessary resources to see the effort through to victory.


Please watch this space for more in-depth analysis on individual races in the weeks and months ahead. If you’d like to share your thoughts with me on any of these races, please email me at [email protected].



RJC in the News

Jon Levine at the New York Post reports:  

The Republican Jewish Coalition [launched] a $50,000 digital ad campaign Sunday in battleground states, pushing out a new video aimed at showcasing how the US-Israel relationship has grown under President [Donald] Trump.

The video, called “Sunrise,” is more than eight minutes long and features Trump coming in to lathering praise from Israeli children, politicians and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The film also spotlights a number of Trump’s Israel-related policy decisions, including moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and the US strike on Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. The RJC also released a condensed 30-second version as well.

“President Trump is the most pro-Israel President in American history and with this video, the RJC is bringing that message to a targeted audience of data-modeled, persuadable Jewish voters in key states for the 2020 election,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks told The Post.

“Sunrise” is the group’s second foray into the 2020 election and follows their previous video “Shanda” which they released in November.  

The Jewish News Service (JNS) adds

On Twitter, RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said the $50,000 ad buy is part of a $10 million RJC campaign to try to expand support for Trump in the Jewish community.  

Have your seen our new video yet? Watch “Sunrise” here.    


• The RJC responded to the defeat of Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) in the New York primary this week. JNS reported:   

…[T]he Republican Jewish Coalition said that Engel’s projected defeat demonstrated “the shift in the Democrat Party away from support for Israel [accelerating] dramatically.”

RJC also said that Engel “has done a great deal for the US-Israel relationship,” while [Jamaal] Bowman “has an extreme and dangerous agenda.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a map showing areas that could come under Israeli law.

Republicans Support Israel Extending Sovereignty

The Republican Jewish Coalition committed to making a major lobbying effort to encourage Republicans in the Senate and House to express their support for the government of Israel and to support Israel’s extending sovereignty over parts of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley in order to promote the security of its citizens and the stability of the region. 


This week our efforts came to fruition when 116 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressing support for Israel and for Israel’s “right to make sovereign decisions independent of outside pressure,” including decisions about defensible borders. The congressmen wrote:  

We write to reaffirm the unshakeable alliance between the United States and Israel, to emphasize that Israel has the right to make sovereign decisions independent of outside pressure, and to express our support for you as you make such decisions in your capacity as Israel’s democratically-elected prime minister.  

We are aware of and deeply concerned by threats being expressed by some to retaliate against Israel as it makes decisions to ensure defensible borders. It is shortsighted to threaten relations with Israel, a long-time friend and critical ally that shares our democratic values. We support the Trump administration’s engagement with Israel on the Vision for Peace Plan, which was based on the critical premise that Israel should never be forced to compromise its security. We assure you that we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel and oppose any effort to apply pressure.  

As The Algemeiner explains, the Trump administration plan stipulates that:

  …Washington will endorse an Israeli decision to apply sovereignty to large parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley as long as Israel commits to holding good-faith negotiations with the Palestinians and avoiding construction in areas that could become part of a Palestinian state. Under the plan, that state will only be established four years after negotiations begin, and only if the Palestinians fully renounce terrorism and carry out major reforms and are no longer considered a threat to Israel.  

Netanyahu has repeatedly said he plans to accept the US plan and begin the process of applying sovereignty in Jewish communities as early as July 1.  

This letter was led by Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), Foreign Affairs Committee Republican Leader Michael McCaul (R-TX), and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and David Kustoff (R-TN).  


The JTA reported:   

A top GOP aide said the RJC was critical in getting members to sign the letter. “The RJC was instrumental in making it happen,” said the senior Republican House aide, speaking to JTA on condition of anonymity. “From helping on the ground level to expanding the coalition of members who ultimately signed, their involvement cannot be [overstated].”  

On Tuesday, a group of Senate Republicans sent a letter to US President Donald Trump in support of Israel applying Israeli law to parts of the West Bank, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated the Jewish state intends to do by July 1, as The Algemeiner reported.   


The letter to President Trump was signed by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Joni Ernst (R-IA).  


Our thanks go out to the Republican leaders of the House and Senate for their unwavering support of Israel.



Democrats Block GOP Bill on Police Reform

Republicans in the Senate, led by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), introduced significant and thoughtful police reform legislation, but Senate Democrats blocked it in a procedural vote, making it likely that no police reform bill will pass Congress this year, The HilI reports.


Republicans offered to accommodate Democrat demands on aspects of the bill, but Democrats blocked debate on the bill and on potential amendments to it, preventing the development of a bipartisan consensus. This is despite the fact that the competing bill introduced by Republicans and Democrats were substantially similar. (See here for details.)


Sen. Scott, the only African American Republican in the Senate, has been inundated with racist and profanity-laced voicemails at his office since taking the lead on GOP efforts for police reform legislation. Scott has spoken about the racism he has encountered throughout his life, including being stopped by police 18 times. He told his colleagues:   

“Why am I so passionate about this issue beyond my 18 stops as a person of color?” Scott asked. “In my legislation and the Republican Senate legislation and the House legislation there is so much common ground and to lose this moment for the kids and the young adults watching this process would be terrible.”

Shame on the Democrats.


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 candidates, 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 —

We must stop pursuing a two-state illusion and commit to a realistic two-state solution

Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer writes: "The extension of Israeli sovereignty to certain territories in Judea and Samaria will not, as many critics suggest, destroy the two-state solution. But it will shatter the two-state illusion. And in doing so, it will open the door to a realistic two-state solution and get the peace process out of the cul-de-sac it has been stuck in for two decades."


— Tweets —





— Events —


RJC Victory Team National Days of Action


Please join us for the upcoming RJC Victory Team Virtual Days of Action scheduled next week for Tuesday, June 30 and Thursday, July 2 and the following week for Tuesday, July 7 and Thursday, July 9. We'll be calling potential Jewish voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia, 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 —

Join the RJC Community

If you like the work we’re doing, consider joining us on Facebook and Twitter, and renew or upgrade your RJC membership. Ensure that your voice is heard in our party and our community!

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