Last week it was revealed that Hamas planned a major terrorist attack for the Rosh Hashana holiday this September, in which hundreds of terrorists would exit Hamas tunnels very near Israeli kibbutzim and towns to kidnap and kill thousands of Israelis. Clearly the tunnels represent an immediate, serious threat to Israeli civilians. For that reason, Israel is determined to eliminate the tunnels before ending its operations in Gaza.
Category Archives: RJC
The website North Jersey is reporting that billionaire casino mogul – and prominent supporter of both Israel- and Republican-related causes – Sheldon Adelson has apparently not been affected permanently by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s somewhat controversial omission of any mention of the Jewish state in his Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala speech in May.
Elan Carr, the Republican nominee vying for the 33rd District congressional seat being vacated by Democratic icon Henry Waxman, raised $434,873 in the second fundraising quarter of 2014, according to FEC reports filed Tuesday.
Carr, an Orthodox Jew, finished the quarter with $245,822 cash-on-hand, while his Democratic rival Ted Lieu trails with $204,438.
House majority leader and the only Republican Jewish congressman, Eric Cantor, was defeated in a primary by a resurgent Tea Party candidate.
The surprising result can only be described as an earthquake and a major setback to Jewish Republicans and the ability of the party to appeal to Jewish Americans.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), son of Dr. Ron Paul and a potential candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, has been stepping up his Jewish outreach, Ron Kampeas writes.
In recent weeks, Paul chatted with rabbis on a conference call, met with Young Jewish Conservatives in his Senate office, and proposed legislation to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it recognizes Israel as a Jewish state. He also addressed a recent Jewish Heritage Month event on the Capitol.
The reported remarks on apartheid by Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday were found as ‘troubling’ by almost every Jewish organization – political and bipartisan.
“Any suggestion that Israel is, or is at risk of becoming, an apartheid state is offensive and inappropriate,” a statement by the bipartisan AIPAC read. “The Jewish state is a shining light for freedom and opportunity in a region plagued by terror, hate and oppression.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition is pushing back against the media describing the RJC’s weekend retreat last month in Vegas as the ‘Sheldon Adelson primary.’
“Because of their obsession with one man, the media’s depiction of our meeting was exaggerated and ignored the real news story here: the warm relationship between the GOP and the American Jewish community,” Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, wrote in an Op-Ed for The NY Observer.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson are expected to meet once again next month at a Jewish philanthropy event in New York City.
Christie is listed as the featured keynote speaker at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards gala, organized by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, on May 18 at Cipriani 42nd Street. Adelson and his wife, who were honored at the event last year, are also expected to attend the second annual event, according to the invitation.
The Republican Jewish Coalition strongly criticized Secretary of State John Kerry’s statements placing the bulk of the blame on Israel for the stalled peace talks in testimony today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“After almost nine months of negotiations, during which Israel took concrete steps to advance the process, including the release of 78 prisoners – many of them terrorists – it is outrageous for Secretary Kerry to blame the Jewish state for the apparent failure of the diplomatic process undertaken at his insistence,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement.
Responding to critics for holding a public event on Shabbos, a prominent leader of the Republican Jewish Coalition argued Thursday that the weekend conference in Vegas, that included high-profile speakers on Shabbos morning, was actually a “kiruv” mission.
“Let’s start with just what this weekend was all about. They called it the Adelson primary, but the weekend, in my mind, is one of the great “kiruv” (Orthodox Jewish outreach) efforts in the Jewish world,” Phil Rosen, a member of the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition, told Michael Fragin on his radio program The Spin Class.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie hurt himself with Republican Jewish voters and donors following his controversial remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday, Morton Klein, president of Zionist Organization of America, said. “No doubt about it.”
Speaking to The Forbes, Klein said that what the media didn’t catch up to is the observation of many Republican donors who were leaning toward Gov. Christie before his Saturday speech, but now they are questioning his grasp of key issues, his stands and, most tellingly, his temperament and his character.
Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney voiced his support for an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities over the weekend, during his closed-door keynote address at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual spring meeting. Mother Jones has obtained a recording of Cheney’s speech.
In his speech, Cheney recalled a conversation he had in 2007 with then-Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, after Israeli reportedly bombed a covert Syrian nuclear facility. “[Yadlin] looked across the table over dinner, and he said, ‘Two down, one to go.’ I knew exactly what he meant,” Cheney said.. “One to go” was understood as a reference to a future Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear project. The crowd responded approvingly with laughter and applause.
A former political aide to a Republican President criticized his fellow Republican presidential contenders for “kissing the ring” of mega donor Sheldon Adelson at a Las Vegas confab the billionaire casino magnate hosted this weekend for the Republican Jewish Coalition.
“I think it’s ridiculous that these candidates for president are trumping out to Las Vegas to kiss the ring of a billionaire casino owner, and they think that’s somehow going help them get elected president,” Matthew Dowd, former President George W. Bush strategist, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
Lacking Foreign Policy credentials, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a potential presidential candidate, tried to woo Jewish Republicans on Saturday by boasting his love for Jewish traditions.
In a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership meeting in Vegas Saturday morning, Walker talked about his father’s first pilgrimage to Israel in the 1980s.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized to Sheldon Adelson for referring to the Israeli settlements as ‘occupied territories’ during a speech he gave earlier in the day at an RJC event, Politico has learned.
Invoking a 2012 trip he and his family took to Israel, Christie recalled “I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won “hearty applause from major Jewish donors” in a speech Saturday morning to the Republican Jewish Coalition conference gathered in Vegas, Politico reports. :The governor received three standing ovations from the 400-person crowd, which appeared to be more enthusiastic about Christie than about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker or Ohio Gov. John Kasich,” a North Jersey reporter wrote.
In his speech, Christie criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policy and spoke about his recent visit to Israel.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush spoke about foreign policy and the economic importance of immigration reform to a group of 60-70 prominent Republican fund-raisers at a VIP dinner of major supporters of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Vegas Thrusday night.
During the question and answer session one person told Bush he should run for President in 2016. He said “I’m going to ignore that one,” according to one attendee at the closed to press event. He turned it aside with a smile saying he had not decided and then pivoted to what policies were needed in the country, according to a separate source who spoke to CNN.
The following is a blog post responding to The Republican Jewish Coalition supporters’ rebuttal, as published on Times of Israel.
I was disheartened to see a recent blog post on this site describing my criticism of the Republican Jewish Coalition holding a public live-streamed event on Shabbat as a self-serving cause.
The following is a blog post by Aaron Robinow, a YU student and previous attendee at the RJC Vegas Conference. Robinow was approached by the Republican Jewish Coalition’s CA regional director Arie Lipnick to respond to our story – written by Jacob Kornbluh – about the RJC holding its annual public retreat on Shabbos.
“Kornbluh attempts to make himself the self-appointed representative for all Republican Orthodox Jewry, but only criticizes the organization to serve his own agenda. The Blogger was not interested in talking specifics about the accommodations made for Orthodox Jews at the conference when he took to the airwaves on Zev Brenner Show. Kornbluh rather focused on condemning the RJC’s lack of participation in local politics, particularly in the predominantly Jewish areas in Brooklyn.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition is all about Judaism and Israel until it comes to the the values of the Jewish people. This year, a range of high ranking 2016 Republican presidential candidates as well as Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer will address a group of rich Republicans on Shabbos.
According to a program for the RJC’s spring leadership conference, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will address the entire conference, which is open to donors who give more than $1,000 a year to the group, on Saturday morning, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich will speak at a luncheon hosted by the group’s National Women’s Committee. Kasich and Walker will also attend a “Discussion and Photo Op” for the RJC donors who meet a $5,000 annual donation level or greater.
In a break with diplomatic tradition, Israeli ambassador to the Unites States Ron Dermer is scheduled to attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s (RJC) Spring Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas this week on Shabbos and share the speaking platform with critics of the President, such as: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former UN Ambassador John Bolton, Ohio Governor Jon Kasich and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
The audience is limited to members of the RJC’s National Leadership, and closed to the press most of the time. The speeches of the GOP governors and possible 2016 presidential candidates, Saturday morning, will be open to press.
The Republican Jewish Coalition’s Executive Director Matthew Brooks released Monday the following statement regarding the meeting between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
“It is the Palestinians who need to make the ‘tough decisions’ and ‘compromises’ that President Obama called for in his meeting with Netanyahu today. Israel has made tough compromises for peace many times in the past and they were met with ‘suicide bombers and rockets in return,’ as the prime minister noted today.
Governor Christie, currently head of the RGA and a once considered front runner for president in 2016, will join prominent Republican leaders such as Vice President Dick Cheney, Governor John Kasich, Governor Scott Walker, Ambassador John Bolton, Ambassador Ron Dermer, at the weekend retreat held on a Friday and Shabbos at the end of March in Vegas.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced Tuesday the creation of “Para Bellum Labs” – an initiative to describe the work and startup culture of the new Digital and Data Department. According to the announcement, Para Bellum Labs will help create a culture to allow the RNC to innovate faster and recruit more talented people who can build digital platforms to understand public opinion, engage voters and power elections.
JTA Via Jewish Press Reports: Gordon Zacks, a founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition and an unofficial adviser to George H.W. Bush, has died. Zacks, a businessman who also was chairman of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School named for his mother, died Saturday at home in the Columbus, Ohio, area following a brief illness. He was 80.
He was among the co-founders of the RJC in 1985…
For Bush, as vice president and president, Zacks served as an unofficial adviser and confidant on Israel-U.S. relations, the Middle East peace process, Soviet and Ethiopian Jewry, as well as the political landscape of the American Jewish community.