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What to Watch

September 7, 2020

Election Day 2020 is just 57 days away, and here is your update on the stories and trends to watch this week. Let us have your feedback at [email protected].


In Case You Missed It

Omri Nahmias reported for the Jerusalem Post on how Republicans are reaching out to Jewish voters:

Matt Brooks, the executive director for RJC, told the Post that the race is tightening and becoming more competitive.

"There’s no question people are fired up," he said.

In the next two weeks, RJC will formally launch its Jewish outreach efforts on six key states.

"Florida obviously is at the top of the list, but Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona and Michigan are the states that we’re focusing on," Brooks said.

"We’ve been doing a lot of things behind the scenes in terms of the data mining analytics – voter file, phone calls. But now we will enter into the more public phase in terms of the advertising campaigns, the mail, and the ‘get out the vote’ efforts, including a very sophisticated effort to target, track and turn out people who are going to be voting by absentee ballot or early voting," he continued.

"So we’re very excited, and we remain confident that because of the historic leadership of this president in terms of being the most pro-Israel president in history, we will increase the share of the Jewish vote 2020."

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Support For Trump Is Growing – And For Good Reasons

Meet three people who are publicly offering their support to President Donald Trump because of the President’s great achievements in the last three years.

  • Rabbi Alan Sherman of Florida: I am proud to be the only Reform rabbi openly supporting President Trump. 

  • Michael I. Krauss, professor emeritus of law at George Mason University: [In 2016,] I thought I was a Never Trumper. Now I realize I was wrong. The Trump presidency has been, to a large extent, successful. The president has performed his duties and genuinely tried to keep his promises.

  • NYC Councilman Chaim Deutsch: A Democratic New York City Councilman, penning an opinion column praising President Donald Trump? Yes – you read that right. In the three and a half years that he’s been in office, President Trump has arguably advanced Israel’s position in the world further than the last two presidents combined. 

Here are some examples of why we need to reelect President Trump for four more years:

  • Senator Ted Cruz: If the American people want a president who has prioritized their interests by focusing on national security and advancing American interests abroad, President Trump is the right choice. In the past four years, President Trump has accomplished real policy objectives that for decades politicians liked to talk about, knowing full well they could never take the bold steps necessary to follow through. Moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is just one example. 

  • Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilkie: It’s been more than a year since President Trump ushered in the greatest improvement to veteran health care since World War II, and the media still refuse to credit him with this accomplishment. 

  • National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien: President Trump has made good on [his] pledge by fighting antisemitism at home and abroad and by standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel, the historical homeland and refuge for the Jewish people. 

  • James Carafano, president of foreign and defense policy studies at The Heritage Foundation: Under Trump, the US is a reliable partner for our allies. The US doesn’t shed allies — it builds partnerships. 

  • Jonathan Gardner, reporting at Fox Business: Dow turns positive for 2020, with S&P on pace for best August since 1984.

Finally, RJC Leader Martin Oliner urges American citizens living in Israel to vote for President Trump in 2020. Some 300,000 American in Israel are reportedly eligible to cast votes in the US election this November. Oliner writes that given the many actions President Trump has taken to strengthen the US-Israel alliance and make Israel stronger and more secure, Americans living in Israel should help him win reelection. Information on voting from abroad can be found here and here.


Congressional Elections Are Critical This Year

Yoram Ettinger, a former Israeli ambassador and consultant to Israeli and US legislators, writes that "the outcome of the November 2020 election to the US House of Representatives and Senate will greatly impact US national security policy, in general, and US-Israel relations, in particular." The retirements and primary losses of veteran mainstream Democrats in Congress has seen the rise of "Progressive Democrats," whose agenda is harmful to American and Israeli interests. Read more here.

The RJC PAC has endorsed terrific Republicans that we need in the House and Senate. Two of them are in tough races, as recently reported in the media:

Visit the RJC PAC web site to donate to Zeldin, Tillis, and the other GOP candidates who need your support!


Top News From The Weekend:
Another Diplomatic Breakthrough For The Trump Administration – And Israel

Fox News reports that on Friday, President Donald Trump oversaw the signing of an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo that normalizes economic relations between the two countries — and also includes Kosovo recognizing Israel, and Serbia agreeing to move its embassy to Jerusalem.  

Tiana Lowe at the Washington Examiner explains the significance of this achievement:

The blockbuster agreement dovetails with two of the administration's most important diplomatic efforts. First is Jared Kushner's hotly publicized push to achieve the formal recognition of Israel in the Middle East. Second is Richard Grenell's mission to bring peace in the Balkans.

It's hard to overstate the sheer impossibility of resolving the Kosovo problem, which goes back centuries.

The New York Times notes another important provision of the Serbia-Kosovo deal: "The agreement also calls on Serbia to diversify its energy supplies, which are now fully in Russia’s hands — something unlikely to be approved by Moscow."

Richard Grenell, the Trump Administration’s special envoy for Serbia and Kosovo, comments that this historic advance was made possible by President Trump’s approach to diplomacy

Friday’s agreement reflects President Trump’s long-held vision for Kosovo and Serbia to focus on economic development, job creation and industrial development as prerequisites to the permanent resolution of political disputes. His belief from the start has been that trust is built first in the process of creating opportunities and futures for young people, rather than in the settlement of scores, symbolism or the righting of historical wrongs. The U.S. will spend the next year implementing these new agreements, and the people and governments of Kosovo and Serbia have the full trust of the U.S. government to carry them forward.

As a demonstration of good faith from the two parties toward the U.S., Serbia and Kosovo also committed Friday to cooperate with certain key U.S. policy priorities in the region. Both parties pledged to protect and promote freedom of religion, including renewed interfaith communication, protection of religious sites, and continued restitution of Holocaust-era heirless and unclaimed Jewish property. Both agreed to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization and fully implement measures to restrict Hezbollah’s operations and financial activities in their jurisdictions. Both agreed to work with the U.S. government to decriminalize homosexuality in the 69 countries where it is currently illegal. And, perhaps most importantly of all, Serbia has pledged to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, while Kosovo has agreed to mutual recognition with Israel.

Republican Jewish Coalition | 50 F Street, N.W., Suite 100 | Washington, DC 20001
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