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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Republican Jewish Coalition

Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC)

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Founded in 1985 as the National Jewish Coalition, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) is a Republican lobbying group that claims to serve as a “unique bridge between the Jewish community and Republican decision-makers.”[1] The organization is a vital component of the Republican Party’s outreach to Jewish voters and increasingly a source of organizational muscle for Republican campaigns. Alongside an economically conservative and “small-government” agenda characteristic of many other Republican advocacy groups, the RJC places an interventionist and Israel-centric U.S. foreign policy at the heart of its advocacy.

Support for Donald Trump

In March 2019, the RJC announced that President Donald Trump would be addressing their annual dinner in Las Vegas in April. The announcement came just a day after Trump had accused the Democratic party of being “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish.” The invitation and the timing of the announcement contributed to a perception that the RJC was cooperating in the effort to shift the issue of Israel out of its traditional bipartisan position and turn it into a wedge issue for Republicans to use against Democrats.

In describing these efforts, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace stated that Republicans “are manufacturing a false binary, a “with-Israel-or-against-Israel” debate, designed to divide Democrats, to quash debate, to delegitimize and marginalize powerful emerging progressive voices, and to fracture and weaken the progressive grassroots.”[2] The RJC invitation to Trump in the wake of his attack on the entire Democratic party was, in the words of one report, an effort to support Trump in his “effort to make Israel a wedge issue between Republicans and Democrats ahead of the 2020 election.”[3]

While the right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu had been working to reframe Israel in the United States as a Republican issue, the Democratic victory in recapturing the House of Representatives in 2018 added momentum to this effort. Several of the new Democratic members of the House were unapologetic supporters of Palestinian rights and critical of Israeli policy. One of them—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)—made some statements that some interpreted as anti-Semitic, the RJC called for a harsh response, although there was significant debate over whether Omar’s words actually expressed any animus toward Jews.

RJC’s executive director, Matt Brooks, wrote, “The Democratic Party—once staunchly allied with Israel—has now become the home of a growing number of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish extremists who would rather support terrorist groups that attack America than America’s only true friend in the Middle East—the Jewish state of Israel. …The Democratic leadership of the House must remove Omar from her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, where she receives classified briefings on U.S. foreign policy and is privy to sensitive information about countries in the Middle East. In fact, Omar should be removed from all of her committee seats.”[4]

Brooks was hopeful that Republicans could attract Jewish voters away from the Democrats, although there was no evidence that this was any more likely than it had been for the past century. According to the Washington Post, Brooks “noted that Jewish support for Republican presidential contenders increased from about 10 to 15 percent during the two election cycles in the 1990s to 20 to 25 percent in the past 20 years. But those percentages are still on the low end of Jewish support for Republican candidates over the past century.”

In fact, according to the book, Jews In American Politics, these numbers were very much in the normal range for the Jewish vote that goes to Republicans in most presidential elections.[5] Still, Brooks went on to say, “We’re very confident that we’re going to continue to build on that and increase the share of the Jewish vote in 2020. We’re swimming upstream against 80 years of entrenched Jewish history voting Democratic. … We’ve always said it’s not going to be one election that defines us but making incremental inroads to chip away at this long-standing link between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party.”[6]

The RJC hasn’t always had an easy time of working with and supporting Trump. Norm Coleman, who became the national chairman of the RJC in February 2017, wrote an op-ed nearly a year earlier called “I Will Never Vote for Donald Trump,” in which he called the eventual president “a misogynist, a fraud and a bully.”[7] After Trump’s victory, the RJC set about smoothing their relationship with Trump. Many Jewish Republicans tended to lean more toward the neoconservative ideology of William Kristol, who was among the most prominent anti-Trump Republicans. Trump’s hostility to the Iran nuclear deal, his warm relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu, and his seeming indifference to Israeli settlements in the West Bank reassured and encouraged the RJC and its members. These efforts were set back when Trump seemed to minimize a violent neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, VA which led to the death of one counter-protester and numerous injuries. Trump’s statement that there were “very fine people on both sides” put the RJC in an awkward position. Every Jewish organization expected a clear condemnation of the neo-Nazi ideology and Trump faced heavy criticism.

The RJC issued its own statement about the violence, and a separate, one-paragraph statement that called on Trump “to provide greater moral clarity in rejecting racism, bigotry, and antisemitism.”[8] The statement was enough to indicate to some observers a “break” by the RJC from Trump, but it trod lightly enough to preserve the RJC’s relationship with the Trump White House.[9]

By February 2018, the relationship was back on track, and Coleman described RJC’s membership as “thrilled” about Trump. “If you look at the change of what has happened with Israel, in terms of moving the capital to Jerusalem, the tough approach to Iran, holding the U.N. finally accountable I think there’s a great deal of enthusiasm in the center-right, pro-Israel community about President Trump.”[10]

Still, RJC’s decision to support Trump was a point of controversy among the Jewish right. One report stated, “Trump remains widely disliked in many Jewish Republican circles, including among RJC board members and donors. Others in the Jewish Republican camp still have many reasons to dislike the president. His lack of experience in foreign policy and national security issues irks them. In conversations they point out his brash style, his associations with alt-right and outright anti-Semitic individuals, his offensive response to the Charlottesville neo-Nazi demonstration and his seeming lack of concern over rising anti-Semitism in America. …Waiting outside the camp, pitchforks in hand, are the Jewish never-Trumpers, people such as William Kristol, Eliot Cohen and David Frum who are not willing to accept Trump’s shortcomings as a price for his support for Israel’s right-wing government and other Middle East policies they believe in. Rather, they believe that every day Trump remains in office causes additional harm to America and to the party.”[11]

In contrast to the RJC’s mild criticism of Trump after Charlottesville, it came swiftly to his defense in October 2018, after a white nationalist gunman killed eleven worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue. While most Jewish groups expressed anger at Trump’s refusal to denounce the shooter’s motivating ideology, Brooks argued that Trump’s condemnation of anti-Semitism was “very powerful and very strong” and attacked Trump’s Jewish critics, saying, “There are too many people who are using this tragedy for partisan gain.”[12]

Neoconservative Ideology

Channeling standard neoconservative rhetoric about the United States being a unique arbiter of good and evil in the world, the RJC casts national and international security in staunchly exceptionalist terms, once stating on its website: “Only America can and must lead the world in standing for the cause of freedom and democracy. The likely outcome of an America not intervening would be darkness overcoming light. Keeping the world free and safe for democracy is critical to our ability to be free citizens of our own country. Imagine a world without American strength—what would it be? All of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa could be under Nazi or Communist rule. America would be alone and the rest of the world would be in darkness.”[13]

It added: “We fully embrace a pro-Israel foreign policy. … As the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel shares our values and is a bulwark against the forces of repression and anti-human rights regimes.”[14]

These memes—consistently repeated by its core representatives for decades—are at the heart of neoconservative ideology were. As Elliott Abrams, the Iran-Contra veteran who was tapped in February 2019 to lead the Trump administration’s campaign to oust Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, once argued: “Since America’s emergence as a world power roughly a century ago, we have made many errors. But we have been the greatest force for good among the nations of the earth. A diminution of American power or influence bodes ill for our country, our friends, and our principles.”[15] Midge Decter, Abrams’ mother-in-law and the spouse of neoconservative trailblazer Norman Podhoretz, clearly identifies the source of this belief in American exceptionalism: “In a world full of ambiguities and puzzlements, one thing is absolutely easy both to define and locate: that is the Jewish interest. The continued security—and in those happy places where the term applies, well-being—of the Jews, worldwide, rests with a strong, vital, prosperous, self-confident United States.”[16]

Despite its clear connection to a much-maligned political ideology, the RJC has in recent years become a critical player in Republican Party politics, in part because of the support of mega-donors. In 2014, for example, the RJC hosted leading Republican Party presidential contenders at its convention in Las Vegas. The event, which one journalist dubbed the “Adelson Primary” because of the central role played by Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson,[17] included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. “A single billionaire (Sheldon Adelson) held a cattle call, and potential Republican presidential candidates showed up,” NBC’s Chuck Todd said.[18]

In April 2015, The Washington Post reported that RJC’s fundraising efforts were “on track to bring in record sums.” RJC executive director Matthew Brooks attributed the increase of contributions to the Obama administration’s spat with Israel over Iran, telling the Post: “There are a lot of folks who are deeply troubled by the actions of this administration and the undermining of the relationship with Israel and with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and as a result, I think, they are engaged and energized in a way I have never seen before.” The Post added that RJC “now plans to finance its largest voter outreach ever in the 2016 elections.”[19]

Positions

RJC regularly issues opinions and policy recommendations on current events. These often take the form of short quotes published on RJC’s website by the group’s executive director, Matthew Brooks.[20] Most of its recommendations concern Israel or U.S. policy towards Iran and the Palestinians.

In 2015, after House Speaker Rep. John Boehner controversially invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to challenge President Obama’s Iran strategy before Congress, Brooks declared his organization’s determination to denounce Democratic members of Congress who had said they would skip the speech. “This is, I think a critical visit by the prime minister. If these Democrats would rather put partisan politics ahead of principle and walk out on the prime minister of Israel, then we have an obligation to make that known,” said Brooks. “We will commit whatever resources we need to make sure that people are aware of the facts, that given the choice to stand with Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu in opposition to a nuclear Iran, they chose partisan interests and to stand with President Obama.”[21]

RJC vociferously opposed the Obama administration’s focus on diplomacy in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. After Iran and the P5+1 reached an interim nuclear deal in November 2013, Brooks bemoaned: “President Obama’s diplomacy is giving cheer to Tehran’s rogue regime and causing alarm among our friends in the region—including Israel, Saudi Arabia and most other Gulf states. Congress and the American people need to speak out against this flawed deal.”[22]

In January 2015, the RJC applauded efforts by the Republican-led Senate to pass new sanctions on Iran that would likely scuttle negotiations. “Congress needs to place enhanced sanctions on Iran to demonstrate that we are serious about halting their nuclear weapons program,” a January 2015 post on RJC’s website read, even though experts agree that Iran halted work on nuclear weapons-related technology years ago.[23]

RJC also lambasted Hillary Clinton for her opposition to more sanctions, stating: “For four years Hillary Clinton proved to the world that her foreign policy judgment and skills are clearly lacking. Now, former Secretary Clinton fails to realize that after exhaustive negotiations with Iran, rewarding them with more time is a catalyst to empower and embolden the Iranian regime further.”[24]

In early 2015, after both President Obama and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) argued that donor pressure played a role pushing some members of Congress to support certain Middle East policies, RJC bemoaned “these troubling episodes are occurring more and more frequently from Democrats, including the President.” Said Brooks: “It seems that President Obama and Congressman Yarmuth live in the same parallel universe where any support for the state of Israel is the result of ‘donors’ or ‘fundraising’ and not genuine concern or support for Israel and its security.”[25]

After the failure of the 2014 Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, RJC sharply rebuked Secretary of State John Kerry for what it deemed his “outrageous” attempt to “blame the Jewish State” for the collapse of the talks. “Secretary Kerry’s testimony today is a troubling consequence of the Obama administration’s assumption that increasing the pressure on Israel will bring the Palestinians back to a process they have repeatedly rejected,” read an RJC statement.[26]

During the 2014 Gaza War, RJC released a statement saying it was “deeply disappointed” by President Obama’s decision to call for an “immediate, unconditional, humanitarian” ceasefire in the conflict. “It seems the administration is focused on pressing Israel to halt hostilities without recognizing Israel’s imperative need to end the threat of the terrorist tunnels,” contended a post on RJC’s website.[27]

RJC has also come out against the Obama administration’s rapprochement with Cuba. In December 2014, RJC said it had a “deep concern about President Obama’s decision to begin normalizing relations with the totalitarian government of Cuba.”[28]

RJC frequently highlights polls that appear to indicate growing support for Republicans among Jewish voters, even though American Jews continue to support Democratic Party candidates by large majorities. Claiming that an “Israel gap” exists between the two parties, a July 2014 post on RJC’s website read: “At a time when Israel is clearly engaged in an existential conflict, fighting for its right to exist, it is disappointing that Democrats in this country do not share the same high level of support for Israel that is seen among Republicans.”[29]

2012 Election

The RJC strongly supported the 2012 Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan Republican ticket, placing itself at the center of a high-profile GOP effort to win votes from traditionally Democratic-leaning American Jews—primarily by characterizing President Obama’s support for Israel as insufficient and suspect.

Reported Politico in October 2012: “Funded in large part by billionaire gaming magnate Sheldon Adelson—an unswerving supporter of Israel and its conservative prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu—these [conservative Jewish] groups have helped place Israel at the core of the GOP message on foreign policy.”[30]

The $6.5-million campaign launched in the summer of 2012 and Adelson, who serves on the RJC board of directors, funded almost all of it. It included setting up phone banks, undertaking door-to-door canvassing efforts, and providing grassroots training exercises to reach Jewish voters, particularly in the contested states of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. An ad blitz featuring purported testimonials from Jewish voters who said they had supported Obama in 2008 but turned to Romney in 2012 over the issue of Israel accompanied the organizing effort.[31]

In September 2012, the Huffington Post reported that the RJC was offering free iPads and American Express gift cards to phone bank “volunteers” in a handful of states. RJC executive director Matt Brooks called the incentives an “infinitesimal amount” of what the group planned to spend to defeat Obama.[32]

The RJC’s push in key swing states moved in tandem with outreach to the 164,000 Jewish American expatriates living in Israel and its settlements in the West Bank—a group that, unlike its stateside counterpart, tilts definitively toward Republicans. When the Romney campaign visited Israel in July 2012, Brooks and Ari Fleischer—an RJC board member and a former press secretary for President George W. Bush—visited West Bank settlements to rally potential supporters. [33]

Brooks and Fleischer were hosted by a purportedly non-partisan group called “iVoteIsrael,” an American-Israeli organization which, according to the Daily Beast, “facilitates online registration and collects absentee ballots at its many drop-box locations. … which will then be mailed to the U.S. on voters’ behalf.” The report added, “iVoteIsrael’s close ties to Republican officials, demagogic messaging and pro-settlement proclivities all point to a partisan bent—and their handling of absentee ballots may be in violation of U.S law,” which requires that election officials rather than private interest groups collect ballots.[34]

With polls late in the race showing continued overwhelming Jewish support for Obama, some observers speculated about whether Jewish conservatives had marginalized themselves because of these campaigns. Reported Politico in late October 2012: “Conservative pro-Israel groups that have spent millions of dollars targeting President Barack Obama’s policies toward the Jewish state are facing a daunting reality: If the president wins anyway, their political influence may never be the same.”[35]

Leadership

RJC’s executive director is Matt Brooks, who also heads the RJC-linked Jewish Policy Center. A longtime Republican activist, Brooks frequently appears in major media outlets and once served as the Massachusetts director for the presidential campaign of the late Jack Kemp.[36] Thanks in part to the largesse of donors like Sheldon Adelson, Brooks was one of the highest-paid top executives of a Jewish organization relative to its overall budget in 2012. (The other was Mort Klein of the Zionist Organization of America, another Adelson-funded outfit).[37]

Adelson may be the best-known member of RJC’s extensive board of directors, but the list also includes former Bush hands like Ari Fleischer, Bernard Marcus, and Josh Bolten.

Former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, who served as a foreign policy adviser to the Romney campaign, is the national chairman Coleman is also a paid lobbyist for the government of Saudi Arabia, which has raised some eyebrows given his ongoing work for the Republican party. “I’m not advising the royal family, but I am working with members of Congress to make sure that Iran is held accountable, make sure Iran isn’t able to do the things they do in the region,” Coleman said in response to questions about his work. “The Saudis have a big interest in that. I have an interest in that. I have an interest, by the way, independent of whatever I do with the Saudis. I’m the national chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition, the safety and security of the United States and of Israel, I think it’s tied together.”[38]

One journalist speculated that Coleman’s work in the House of Representatives may have been a key factor in House GOP leaders—notably, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI)—quashing a vote on whether to continue U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen. “The House GOP’s decision to go to the mat for the House of Saud might be partially explained by the fact that a longtime lobbyist for Saudi Arabia sits in a position to control a significant portion of the party’s campaign-related spending,” opined the writer, referring to Coleman.[39] RJC has been associated with numerous hawkish and neoconservative Republicans over the years. Its founding chairman was Lawrence Kadish, a real estate investor who went on to serve as a senior adviser to the neoconservative pressure group Americans for Victory of Terrorism. A former vice-chair is Clifford May, founder of the stridently hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mel Sembler—another real estate magnate who has supported right-wing groups like the American Enterprise Institute, Freedom’s Watch, and Keep America Safe over the years—is a longtime board member, as is Walter Stern, who has served as vice president of the Washington Institute on Near East Policy and as a board member at the Hudson Institute.

Funding and Expenditures

Although the RJC purports to be funded by a grassroots network of individual contributors, media reports have often emphasized the outsized role of influential high-dollar donors like Sheldon Adelson and the late Irving Moskowitz, also a gambling magnate. The group’s super PAC offshoot, the Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund, received $2 million from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson during the 2012 presidential election.[40]

In 2012, the group reported raising about $10 million. This was down from the $13.1 million the group reported raising in 2010. Of this amount in 2010, it distributed fully $8 million to the “nonprofit” GOP political action committees Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network, which spent millions during the 2010 congressional campaign on advertisements attacking Democrats. Crossroads is linked to the GOP strategist Karl Rove, while the American Action Network—with whom Crossroads shares an office space—includes board member Norm Coleman, who is also on the RJC board.[41]

The RJC reported spending another $3.7 million on lobbying and political contributions in 2010 through its political action committee, which is apparently separately funded.[42]

 

SOURCES 

[1] RJC, “RJC Mission Statement,” http://www.rjchq.org/about-rjc/organizational-biography/.

[2] Lara Friedman, “BDS Is A Trap For Democrats,” Forward, January 28, 2019, https://forward.com/opinion/418265/bds-is-a-trap-for-democrats/

[3] Tal Axelrod, Trump to speak to GOP Jewish group amid anti-Semitism spat with Dems,” The Hill, March 22, 2019, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/435333-trump-to-speak-to-republican-jewish-group-next-month-amid-anti

[4] Matt Brooks, “Omar and her friends have lit an ugly dumpster fire of anti-Semitism in Congress – Dems must put it out,” Fox News, March 6, 2019, https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/omar-and-her-friends-have-lit-an-ugly-dumpster-fire-of-anti-semitism-in-congress-dems-must-put-it-out

[5] “U.S. Presidential Elections: Jewish Voting Record (1916 – Present),” Jewish Virtual Library, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jewish-voting-record-in-u-s-presidential-elections

[6] Eli Rosenberg, “Trump and the GOP are trying to make ‘Jexodus’ happen, but most Jews still vote Democratic,” Washington Post, March 15, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/03/12/republicans-are-trying-make-jexodus-happen-most-jews-still-vote-democratic/?utm_term=.3dd556569be2

[7] Norm Coleman, “I will never vote for Donald Trump,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, March 3, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/norm-coleman-i-will-never-vote-for-donald-trump/370932321/

[8] “Statement by RJC National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman and RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks on behalf of the Republican Jewish Coalition,” RJC, August 16, 2017, http://www.rjchq.org/statement_by_rjc_national_chairman_senator_norm_coleman_and_rjc_executive_director_matt_brooks

[9] David Nakamura, “Republican Jewish Coalition breaks with Trump on Charlottesville, asks for ‘greater moral clarity,’” Washington Post, August 16, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/08/16/republican-jewish-coalition-breaks-with-trump-on-charlottesville-asks-for-greater-moral-clarity/?utm_term=.fdd3f6f41d13

[10] JTA, “Republican Jewish Coalition Chairman Says Its Members Are ‘Thrilled’ With Trump,” Haaretz, February 13, 2018, https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/gop-jewish-coalition-chairman-says-members-are-thrilled-with-trump-1.5812042

[11] Natan Guttman, “Inside the Republican Jewish Coalition,” Moment Magazine, July 9, 2018, https://www.momentmag.com/opinion-inside-the-republican-jewish-coalition/

[12] Fredereka Schouten, “Republican Jewish Coalition praises Trump response to synagogue massacre,” CNN, October 29, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/29/politics/republican-jewish-group-trump/index.html

[13] RJC, “RJC Basic Principles,” http://www.rjchq.org/about.

[14] RJC, “RJC Basic Principles,” http://www.rjchq.org/about.

[15] Cite in Jim Lobe, “Prisoner Abuse Calls into Question America’s Position of Moral ‘Exceptionalism,’” Foreign Policy in Focus, May 19, 2004.

[16] Mark Gerson, The Neoconservative Vision: From the Cold War to the Culture Wars, Madison Books, 1997, page 165.

[17] Jim Lobe, “The WaPo’s Strange Treatment of Adelson Pal Paul Singer,” LobeLog, April 9, 2014, http://www.lobelog.com/the-wapos-strange-treatment-of-adelson-pal-paul-singer/.

[18] Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Carrie Dann, “First Thoughts: Obamacare Is Here to Stay,” NBC News, March 31, 2014, http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/first-thoughts-obamacare-here-stay-n67726.

[19] Matea Gold, “Republican Jewish Coalition says it sees fundraising boom,” The Washington Post, April 23, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republican-jewish-coalition-says-it-sees-fundraising-boom/2015/04/22/eac5634a-e873-11e4-9a6a-c1ab95a0600b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1.

[20] RJC Newsroom, http://www.rjchq.org/newsroom.

[21] Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jake Sherman, “Benjamin Netanyahu’s side strikes back,” Politico, February 6, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/benjamin-netanyahu-israel-congress-114965.html#ixzz3RNF4xTsa.

[22] RJC, “RJC: Congress Must Speak Out Against Obama’s Iran Deal,” November 23, 2014, http://www.rjchq.org/2013/11/rjc-congress-must-speak-out-against-obamas-iran-deal/.

[23] RJC, “RJC Responds to President Obama State of the Union: Enhanced Iran Sanctions are Needed,” January 20, 2015, http://www.rjchq.org/2015/01/rjc-responds-to-president-obama-state-of-the-union-enhanced-iran-sanctions-are-needed/.

[24] RJC, “RJC Responds to Hillary Clinton Comments on Iran,” January 22, 2015, http://www.rjchq.org/rjc_responds_to_hillary_clinton_comments_on_iran.

[25] RJC, “RJC Responds to Rep. Yarmuth,” January 26, 2015, http://www.rjchq.org/rjc_responds_to_rep_yarmuth_democrats_must_condemn_outrageous_remarks.

[26] RJC, “RJC: Kerry Testimony Blaming Israel for Peace-Talks Impasse is Outrageous,” April 8, 2014, https://www.rjchq.org/2014/04/rjc-kerry-testimony-blaming-israel-for-peace-talks-impasse-is-outrageous/.

[27] RJC, “RJC to Pres. Obama: Remember Your Commitment to Israel,” July 29, 2014, http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Btt8xU_80TcJ:www.rjchq.org/2014/07/rjc-to-pres-obama-remember-your-commitment-to-israel/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.

[28] RJC, “RJC Welcomes Release of Alan Gross; Calls Normalizing Relations with Cuba “Unwise,” December 17, 2014, https://www.rjchq.org/2014/12/rjc-welcomes-release-of-alan-gross/.

[29] RJC, “RJC: CNN Poll Confirms “Israel Gap” – More Republicans Support Israel Than Democrats,” https://www.rjchq.org/2014/07/rjc-cnn-poll-confirms-israel-gap-more-republicans-support-israel-than-democrats/.

[30] Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, “Conservative pro-Israel groups’ relevance at risk in 2012,” Politico, October 20, 2012, http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=033A923B-99F5-4C27-9DEA-DEB60B37B34A.

[31] Alicia Mundy, “Republicans Make Big Push for Jewish Voters,” Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2012, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/07/25/republicans-make-big-push-for-jewish-voters/.  See also Lizette Alvarez, “Republicans Intensify Drive to Win Over Jewish Voters,” New York Times, September 26, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/us/politics/republicans-go-after-jewish-vote.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&.

[32] Andrea Stone, “Republican Jewish Coalition Gives iPads To Woo ‘Volunteers,’” Huffington Post, September 28, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/republican-jewish-coalition-ipads_n_1923870.html.

[33]  Mairav Zonszein, “iVoteRepublican,” The Daily Beast “Open Zion” blog, October 11, 2012, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/11/ivoterepublican.html.

[34]  Mairav Zonszein, “iVoteRepublican,” The Daily Beast “Open Zion” blog, October 11, 2012, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/11/ivoterepublican.html.

[35] Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, “Conservative pro-Israel groups’ relevance at risk in 2012,” Politico, October 20, 2012, http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=033A923B-99F5-4C27-9DEA-DEB60B37B34A.

[36] RJC, Matt Brooks bio, http://www.rjchq.org/2012/07/matthew-brooks-executive-director/.

[37] Josh Nathan-Kazis, “Adelson Funds Big Salaries,” Forward, October 2, 2012, http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/163651/adelson-funds-big-salaries/.

[38] VIDEO: “Norm Coleman Looks to The Future,” CBS Minnesota, November 13, 2018, https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/video/3977552-web-extra-norm-coleman-looks-to-the-future/

[39] Eli Clifton, “GOP Purse Strings Held by Saudi Lobbyist,” Lobelog, December 10, 2018, https://lobelog.com/gop-purse-strings-held-by-saudi-lobbyist/

[40] Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund, OpenSecrets.org, https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave2.php?cycle=2012&cmte=C00528554.

[41] Guidestar.org, Nonprofit Report for Republican Jewish Coalition, http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/52-1386172/republican-jewish-coalition.aspx. See also Viveca Novak and Robert Maguire , “Donors to GOP’s Nondisclosing Nonprofits Travel in Familiar Networks,” OpenSecrets.org, February 27, 2012, http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2012/02/dark-money-trail.html.

[42] Guidestar.org, Nonprofit Report for Republican Jewish Coalition, http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/52-1386172/republican-jewish-coalition.aspx.

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Sources

[1] RJC, “RJC Mission Statement,” http://www.rjchq.org/about-rjc/organizational-biography/.

[2] RJC, “RJC Basic Principles,” http://www.rjchq.org/about.

[3] RJC, “RJC Basic Principles,” http://www.rjchq.org/about.

[4] Cite in Jim Lobe, “Prisoner Abuse Calls into Question America’s Position of Moral ‘Exceptionalism,’” Foreign Policy in Focus, May 19, 2004.

[5] Mark Gerson, The Neoconservative Vision: From the Cold War to the Culture Wars, Madison Books, 1997, page 165.

[6] Jim Lobe, “The WaPo’s Strange Treatment of Adelson Pal Paul Singer,” LobeLog, April 9, 2014, http://www.lobelog.com/the-wapos-strange-treatment-of-adelson-pal-paul-singer/.

[7] Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Carrie Dann, “First Thoughts: Obamacare Is Here to Stay,” NBC News, March 31, 2014,http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/first-thoughts-obamacare-here-stay-n67726.

[8] Matea Gold, “Republican Jewish Coalition says it sees fundraising boom,” The Washington Post, April 23, 2015,http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republican-jewish-coalition-says-it-sees-fundraising-boom/2015/04/22/eac5634a-e873-11e4-9a6a-c1ab95a0600b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1.

[9] RJC Newsroom, http://www.rjchq.org/newsroom.

[10] Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jake Sherman, “Benjamin Netanyahu’s side strikes back,” Politico, February 6, 2015,http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/benjamin-netanyahu-israel-congress-114965.html#ixzz3RNF4xTsa.

[11] RJC, “RJC: Congress Must Speak Out Against Obama’s Iran Deal,” November 23, 2014, http://www.rjchq.org/2013/11/rjc-congress-must-speak-out-against-obamas-iran-deal/.

[12] RJC, “RJC Responds to President Obama State of the Union: Enhanced Iran Sanctions are Needed,” January 20, 2015,http://www.rjchq.org/2015/01/rjc-responds-to-president-obama-state-of-the-union-enhanced-iran-sanctions-are-needed/.

[13] RJC, “RJC Responds to Hillary Clinton Comments on Iran,” January 22, 2015,http://www.rjchq.org/rjc_responds_to_hillary_clinton_comments_on_iran.

[14] RJC, “RJC Responds to Rep. Yarmuth,” January 26, 2015,http://www.rjchq.org/rjc_responds_to_rep_yarmuth_democrats_must_condemn_outrageous_remarks.

[15] RJC, “RJC: Kerry Testimony Blaming Israel for Peace-Talks Impasse is Outrageous,” April 8, 2014,https://www.rjchq.org/2014/04/rjc-kerry-testimony-blaming-israel-for-peace-talks-impasse-is-outrageous/.

[16] RJC, “RJC to Pres. Obama: Remember Your Commitment to Israel,” July 29, 2014,http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Btt8xU_80TcJ:www.rjchq.org/2014/07/rjc-to-pres-obama-remember-your-commitment-to-israel/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.

[17] RJC, “RJC Welcomes Release of Alan Gross; Calls Normalizing Relations with Cuba “Unwise,” December 17, 2014,https://www.rjchq.org/2014/12/rjc-welcomes-release-of-alan-gross/.

[18] RJC, “RJC: CNN Poll Confirms “Israel Gap” – More Republicans Support Israel Than Democrats,”https://www.rjchq.org/2014/07/rjc-cnn-poll-confirms-israel-gap-more-republicans-support-israel-than-democrats/.

[19] Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, “Conservative pro-Israel groups’ relevance at risk in 2012,” Politico, October 20, 2012,http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=033A923B-99F5-4C27-9DEA-DEB60B37B34A.

[20] Alicia Mundy, “Republicans Make Big Push for Jewish Voters,” Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2012,http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/07/25/republicans-make-big-push-for-jewish-voters/. See also Lizette Alvarez, “Republicans Intensify Drive to Win Over Jewish Voters,” New York Times, September 26, 2012,http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/us/politics/republicans-go-after-jewish-vote.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&.

[21] Andrea Stone, “Republican Jewish Coalition Gives iPads To Woo ‘Volunteers,’” Huffington Post, September 28, 2012,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/republican-jewish-coalition-ipads_n_1923870.html.

[22] Mairav Zonszein, “iVoteRepublican,” The Daily Beast “Open Zion” blog, October 11, 2012,http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/11/ivoterepublican.html.

[23] Mairav Zonszein, “iVoteRepublican,” The Daily Beast “Open Zion” blog, October 11, 2012,http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/11/ivoterepublican.html.

[24] Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, “Conservative pro-Israel groups’ relevance at risk in 2012,” Politico, October 20, 2012,http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=033A923B-99F5-4C27-9DEA-DEB60B37B34A.

[25] RJC, Matt Brooks bio, http://www.rjchq.org/2012/07/matthew-brooks-executive-director/.

[26] Josh Nathan-Kazis, “Adelson Funds Big Salaries,” Forward, October 2, 2012, http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/163651/adelson-funds-big-salaries/.

[27] Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund, OpenSecrets.org, https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave2.php?cycle=2012&cmte=C00528554.

[28] Guidestar.org, Nonprofit Report for Republican Jewish Coalition, http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/52-1386172/republican-jewish-coalition.aspx. See also Viveca Novak and Robert Maguire, “Donors to GOP’s Nondisclosing Nonprofits Travel in Familiar Networks,” OpenSecrets.org, February 27, 2012, http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2012/02/dark-money-trail.html.

[29] Guidestar.org, Nonprofit Report for Republican Jewish Coalition, http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/52-1386172/republican-jewish-coalition.aspx.


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Republican Jewish Coalition Résumé

Contact

Republican Jewish Coalition
50 F Street, N.W., Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202.638.6688
Email: rjc@rjchq.com / Website: http://www.rjchq.org/

Founded

1985

Mission Statement (as of 2019)

“We seek to foster and enhance ties between the American Jewish community and Republican decision makers. We work to sensitize Republican leadership in government and the Party to the concerns and issues of the Jewish community, while articulating and advocating Republican ideas and policies within the Jewish community. We are committed to building a strong, effective and respected Jewish Republican voice in Washington and across the country.”

Leadership (as of 2019)

  • Matthew Brooks: Executive Director
  • Norm Coleman: National Chairman
  • Jeffrey Altman: General Counsel

 Board of Directors (as of 2019)

  • Sheldon Adelson
  • Yitz Applebaum
  • Wayne Berman
  • Harold Beznos
  • Ken Bialkin
  • Ronald Bloom
  • Josh Bolten
  • Elliott Broidy
  • Edward Czuker
  • Michael David Epstein
  • Jeffrey Feingold
  • David Flaum
  • Ari Fleischer
  • Peter Forman
  • Richard Fox
  • Sam Fox
  • Norman Freidkin
  • Steven Friedman
  • Joel Geiderman
  • Marc Goldman
  • Jeffrey Gunter
  • Cheryl Halpern
  • Phyllis Greenberg Heideman
  • Sheldon (Shelly) Kamins
  • David Kaplan
  • Fred Karlinsky
  • George Klein
  • Ronald Krongold
  • Eliot Lauer
  • Linda Lingle
  • Earle Mack
  • Bernard Marcus
  • Alan Miller
  • Larry Mizel
  • Ronald Plotkin
  • Brad Rose
  1. Philip Rosen
  • Adam Ross
  • Alan Sager
  • Lee Samson
  • Leonard Sands
  • Robert Schostak
  • Martin Selig
  • Mel Sembler
  • Diane Sembler-Kamins
  • Florence Shapiro
  • Richard Sherman
  • Abbie Snyder
  • Walter Stern
  • Jason Sugraman
  • Karen Tandy
  • Ronald Weiser
  • Bradley Wine
  • Fred Zeidman

Related:

Republican Jewish Coalition News Feed


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