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February 11, 2016 / 2 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Republican Jewish Coalition’

Jeb Bush Seeking Jewish Support

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Jeb Bush is preparing to reach out the senior Jewish leaders to endorse him for Republican party’s presidential nominee, the Jewish Insider reported.

The website it obtained an invitation that Bush’s staff sent to Jewish leaders to form a “National Jewish Leadership Team,” with individuals to attend a special briefing with Bush at his campaign headquarters in Miami Sept, 25, two days after Yom Kippur.

With at least 16 other contenders for the nomination, Bush is retrying to get a head start on bundling up Jewish support, some of which already is committed to Mike Huckabee.

The proposed Leadership Team, is scheduled to meet for a dinner at the Miami Beach home of two of is Jewish supporters on the day before, which is one day after the Yom Kippur holiday and fast.

The hosts are Glenda and Ronnie Krongold, who is leader in the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

Originally from West Virginia, he dealt in real estate in Florida and built a real estate company. One his partners in a project was “Jeb Bush and Associates,” according to the RJC website, which also noted that Krongold has been very active in Israeli Bonds.

The website states:

In 1985, at the request of a Jewish activist and publisher Phil Blazer, Ron called upon Jeb to intercede with his father, the Vice President, on behalf of approximately 1,000 Ethiopian Jews who were starving and dying in camps in Ethiopia. Thereafter through the efforts of the Vice President and a group of concerned Jews, the majority of the Ethiopians were rescued and flown to Israel by the United States government.

In 1990 Ron traveled to Russia, before the fall of Communism, along with then CEO of Bonds Meir Rosanne , Michael Siegal (who is now the chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America) and six other Israel Bonds leaders to help with the extraction and settlement of Jews from Russia to Israel.

 

 

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Jewish Group Demands Obama Stop Demonizing Jews

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Last week President Obama held a conference call with interested Americans, seeking to directly sell them on the nuclear deal the U.S. and its P5+1 partners made with Iran.

Many Jews who listened on the call were taken aback by what they heard as coded anti-Semitic language being used by the President to attack those who are critical of the deal.

On Friday, the Republican Jewish Coalition issued a statement demanding that Obama stop demonizing the critics of the Iran deal with code words for Jews.

Matt Brooks, the executive director of the RJC, quoted the President’s comment, that the “lobbying taking place on the other side is fierce, well-financed and relentless.”

Brooks responded, “Some of us have been around long enough to remember how Jewish groups – including Jewish Republicans – came down hard on the first President Bush for similar remarks.

“Apparently, the President’s claim that he ‘welcomes a robust debate’ was just rhetoric – like his administration’s repeated pledges to make Iran submit to ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections.

“Jewish leaders need to hold President Obama to the same standards they held the first President Bush. And President Obama should stick to the facts and stop demonizing Americans who are rightly skeptical of his dubious deal with the Tehran regime.”

During a September 12, 1991 press conference, President George H.W. Bush said, in response to a question about loan guarantees to Israel:

“I think it will sell, but it’s taken a little time. And we’re up against a very strong and effective, sometimes, groups that go up to the Hill. I heard today there was something like a thousand lobbyists on the Hill working the other side of the question. We’ve got one lonely little guy down here doing it.”

As at least one observer noticed, in addition to using code words like “lobby” and “well-financed,” President Obama also repeated the idea that “the same people who are opposing the Iran deal got us into the Iraq war.” The “neocons” are frequently blamed for pulling the U.S. into the Iraq war, and “neocons” is frequently a code word for Jews.

 

Guess What Each of the US Jewish Organizations Are Saying About the Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

We know the Iran deal is bad. How bad it is is we all may be spending the rest of our lives finding out. That is, unless enough members of Congress are able to inject sufficient spine-strengthening and -straightening serum to override President Barack Obama’s already promised veto of any effort to derail the deal.

So let’s take a stroll through the playground of American Jewish organizations and see what they have to say about the proposed deal which allows many of the things American leaders swore would not be permitted and forbids many of the things that were promised would be included.

First, let’s lay out the general parameters of the deal, as they are currently understood, based on analyses of the 159 page document.

According to the Iranians themselves, the deal blesses Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear programs and will lift sanctions from Iran through a new UN Security Council resolution. It allows all of Iran’s nuclear installations and sites to continue, none of them will be dismantled. Plus, research and development on key and advanced centrifuges will continue.

There will be no “anywhere, anytime” inspections. Instead, there will be a mechanism in place that will ensure that at least 24 days elapses before inspectors can visit any facility which Iran decides it doesn’t want visited.

And although the U.S. administration and its representatives repeatedly insisted that the nuclear program deal would have no impact on any other sanctions imposed against Iran, guess what? It does.

The P5+1 have agreed to lift the arms embargo against Iran within five years, and the embargo on missile sales will be lifted within eight years. Of course, the unfreezing of between $100 and 150 billion is perhaps the most frightening immediate effect of the deal. As with the nuclear and military sites, there will be no transparency to ensure that the money does not get funneled into Iran’s other favorite activity: financing global terrorism, especially murderous terrorism directed at Israel.

Most of the major Jewish organizations either blasted the agreement with Iran or punted, assuming a wait and see stance. However, one “pro-Israel, pro-peace” outfit was thrilled with the deal. More on that in the body of the article.

Here they are, summaries of the statements on the Iran deal issued by American Jewish organizations.In alphabetical order.

The Anti-Defamation League unhappy

Usually known for a more even-keeled approach to most administration ventures, the ADL is highly critical of the Iran deal. The ADL leadership said they were “deeply disappointed by the terms of the final deal with Iran” which “seems to fall far short of the President’s objective of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state.” The ADL leadership praised the administration’s negotiators for sticking to it for so long and for appearing to put off Iran’s ability to become a nuclear state in the short term, but it fails to prevent it for the long term.

The ADL further blasted the “front-end loaded infusion of billions of dollars in sanctions relief [which] will finance Iran’s ongoing global campaign of terror against Israel and other U.S. allies, and be used to further exert its influence across the Middle East, thereby harming U.S. interests.”

While stopping short of calling on Congress to do its best to derail the job, the ADL leadership took the time to urge those debating the matter to do so in a civil and respectful manner.  Some jaded commentators might wonder whether such admonishments are ladled out when the plan of someone considered to be right wing is under attack.

Americans for a Safe Israel angry

Not surprisingly, the small, New York-based, staunchly Zionist organization AFSI is unalterably opposed to the Iran deal. As Helen Freedman, AFSI’s long-time executive director wrote regarding the deal crafted by Obama and Kerry, “there was never any doubt in our minds that this deceitful duo would cross all the red lines and give Iran everything it demands-  and more. Our ‘leaders’ even made it difficult for Congress to do anything to Stop Iran by insisting this is not a treaty, only a ‘deal.’ Only those who applaud the naked emperor will celebrate this travesty.”

American Israel Public Affairs Committee worried

AIPAC’s deep affinity for diplomacy and close connections with the administration as well as members of Congress puts the organization in a bit of a bind. Its statement reflects that dilemma. AIPAC had previously outlined several requirements any deal with Iran had to meet. Those included:”anywhere, anytime” inspections – that ain’t happening; sanctions relief should only come after Iran satisfies all its commitments – nope; any deal had to prevent Iran from the ability to acquire nuclear weapons for decades – not that either; and Iran had to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure – nope again.

“We are deeply concerned based on initial reports that this proposed agreement may not meet these requirements, and thereby would fail to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.” Deeply concerned? Even the President’s talking points make clear that AIPAC’s red lines have not been met.

AIPAC, as did several of the other organizations, signaled that it would continue to review the deal and issue updates on its position.

American Jewish Committee worried

The AJC spent the first third of its statement praising the administration’s negotiators and leadership for its attempt to reach an accord. AJC’s executive director David Harris then called on Congress to ” thoroughly review, debate, and, ultimately, vote it up or down.” Towards the end of the statement, Harris finally gets around to venturing an opinion about the deal. He said that the nuclear deal does not appear to address certain “extremely troubling aspects of Iranian behavior.” He then lists out five different concerns of the AJC regarding the deal, including its reign of terror in the Middle East and its Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program (which cannot have a peaceful purpose), and its systematic repression of human rights.

But rather than urging its members to take any particular action, the AJC director concludes his statement by noting that however “Congress decides to vote on the nuclear deal,” Harris concluded, “the need for vigilance regarding Iran will not for a single moment be diminished.”

Endowment for Middle East Truth angry

EMET expressed “profound disappointment” that the deal with Iran is “more deplorable than we had even anticipated. Of particular concern to EMET is that the “Administration has caved on almost every one of its initial criteria. It also pointed out that the Iranian Ayatollah maintained all of his red lines, even those which are contrary to UN resolutions.”

Sarah Stern, the president and founder of EMET said, “we all understand and appreciate that Americans are not eager for armed conflict, but willfully blinding ourselves to the reality of a bad deal does not prevent war.” EMET blasted the deal as a “diplomatic disaster of historic proportions.”

The Israel Project unhappy

TIP’s president, Josh Block, said of the deal with Iran that it “is a realization of the deepest fears and the most dire predictions of skeptics who have, for two years, been warning against exactly this outcome – a bad deal that enriches this tyrannical regime and fails to strip Iran of nuclear weapons capability.” TIP unequivocally called on Congress to reject “this bad deal.” The Israel Project has been providing nearly daily, and extremely detailed, updates and analyses of the negotiations for many months, and is considered extremely knowledgeable regarding both the process and the details of the agreement as it has evolved.

J Street  happy

J Street founder and president Jeremy Ben-Ami once described his nascent organization as “President Obama’s blocking back.” It apparently still sees itself that way. While hedging its bets a tiny bit by calling the deal “complex and multi-faceted,” J Street takes President Obama at his word and concludes that the deal “appears to meet the critical criteria around which a consensus of non-proliferation experts has formed for a deal that verifiably blocks each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.” Tellingly, the statement does not mention what those criteria are.

Every other organization that praised the negotiators did so for their efforts. Not J Street. J Street congratulated them for bringing the negotiations “to a successful conclusion.”

J Street mentioned the upcoming review of the deal by Congress, but sent its own thinly-veiled threat: Congress should be “mindful of the likely consequences of its rejection: a collapse of diplomacy and international sanctions as Iran pushes forward with a nuclear program unimpeded.”

In other words, unless Congress approves the deal, or fails to override the promised veto, J Street is telling its followers that the alternative will be an Iran with nuclear weapons. You can bet that is how they will couch their calls to supporters in the upcoming congressional review period.

Jewish Federations of North America hmmmm

The parent organization of the Jewish Federations and JCRCs was careful to thank the negotiators for their efforts and to express its support for diplomacy, but clearly signaled its discomfort with the way the deal has shaped up, given Iran’s terrorist history. The JFNA statement expresses its concern: “Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries – including Israel – make the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable.”

But the JFNA resorted to mouthing the assurances that President Obama has been making – even while the facts regarding them have been changing – for nearly the entire period of the negotiations. The JFNA concluded its statement by urging Congress to give the accord its “utmost scrutiny.”

National Jewish Democratic Council can't talk

Perhaps not surprisingly, the NJDC takes absolutely no position on the content of the deal and does not state one word about it. Instead, the statement issued by the NJDC focuses on the process of deliberations going forward and the need “to take partisan politics completely out of this situation.” In fact, it preemptively takes those who oppose this deal to task for turning the Iran deal into a “wedge issue” which divides Jews. It appears the NJDC did not take the temperature of its erstwhile center and center-left Jewish organizational playmates, as virtually every one of them, and they all contain large numbers of Democrats, are highly critical of the deal.

Republican Jewish Coalition angry

The RJC called the agreement “a bad deal” because “it is not enforceable, verifiable or in America’s national security interest.” The group called on Congress to stop the deal or “the world will be less safe as the United States will remove sanctions on Iran, and in return, Iran will still pursue nuclear weapons.” The RJC called on all members of Congress to reject the deal.

Simon Wiesenthal Center worried

The Wiesenthal Center’s leadership said they are “deeply worried” about the deal which they said “confirms Iran as a threshold nuclear power” and that “will end economic sanctions against the Mullahocracy.” The SWC called on Congress to review the document carefully and to vote against it if it is as dangerous as it appears to be.

World Jewish Congress hmmmm

The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, expressed strong skepticism about the Iran deal. He also mentioned the hard work of the negotiators but repeatedly stated that Tehran has a long history of misleading the world and that there is no reason to trust Iran over the implementation of the deal.

“I fear we may have entered into an agreement that revives the Iranian economy but which fails to stop this regime from developing nuclear weapons in the long terms, which would have disastrous consequences for the entire region and the world.” The WJC urged the international community to stand ready to reimplement sanctions immediately if Iran fails to meet its obligations under the agreement.

Zionist Organization of America angry

No surprises from the ZOA leadership on this issue. If they didn’t use a thesaurus to find every word that means bad to describe this deal, it is only because they have been using those words to describe this deal that way since its infancy.

The ZOA is “deeply horrified, but not surprised by the truly terrible nuclear agreement,” the statement begins. In a highly detailed recitation of how and why the deal is so bad, long-time ZOA president Mork Klein said that the nuclear agreement “is quite simply a catastrophe and a nightmare. It leaves the world standing at an abyss.”

In addition to decrying the lack of spontaneous inspections, the huge boatloads of cash to spend on its terrorist activities and subordinates and the egregiously antagonistic behavior of the Iranian leadership even over the past few days, Klein made another point.

“Two years ago, the Iranian economy was collapsing under the weight of sanctions. President Obama could have intensified pressure and international resolve to compel Iran to relinquish its nuclear program. He never even tried. Instead, he preemptively relieved the pressure on Iran by easing sanctions which enabled Iran to withstand every demand. As a result, we now stand on the precipice of an era of nuclear terror.”

The ZOA, as did several other organizations, urged Americans to call their elected federal representatives through the Capitol Hill Switchboard (202-224-3121) and urge them to oppose the nuclear deal.

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While there are two outliers, it turns out the Iran deal is so bad that nearly every major American Jewish organization is, at minimum, extremely concerned about it. That’s quite a feat.

W’s Private Remarks to RJC Reveal Disagreements with Obama (SHOCKER)

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

At a Republican Jewish Coalition dinner that was closed to the press and at which the attendees were reportedly told repeatedly not to transcribe his remarks, George W. Bush did something he was refrained from doing since leaving public office. He shared his views on the way his successor has handled foreign policy.

It happened at a dinner given by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson at a Republic Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas.

But at least one of the 800 people in the room, despite the repeated importunities to refrain, transcribed portions of what the former president said, and then shared them with the media. Both the New York Times and Bloomberg View published accounts based on those transcripts.

You ready to hear the big secret? That former president doesn’t think much about this current president’s decisions.

Really.

Take Obama’s foreign policy track record. Please. On Iraq, on Iran, on ISIS, on America’s role on the world stage, Bush was critical.

According to the press reports of the leaked “transcripts,” Bush thought Obama was too trusting of Iran’s intentions and to quick to relax sanctions on Tehran. Admitting that the current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is certainly smoother than was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bush was doubtful that there has been any real change in ideology or in plans.

Bush did not have positive things to say about the rapidity with which U.S. troops were pulled out of Iraq in 2011, nor about Obama’s hands-off approach to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

As far as the ascent of ISIS, the former president described this barbaric terrorist group as “al Qaeda’s second act.”

The former president also took a shot at making some predictions regarding the upcoming U.S. presidential campaign. About former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bush said she will have to make a choice as to whether she will run on the Obama administration’s policies or against them.

“If she defends them, she’s admitting failure,” he reportedly said, “but if she doesn’t, she’s blaming the president.”

On the Republican side, Bush said that foreign policy is going to be very important, and that “the test for Republicans running will be who has got the ‘courage’ to resist isolationist tendencies.”

GOP’s Sen. Ted Cruz Courts Jewish Vote in Las Vegas

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

“So tell me, is this the ‘Ready for Hillary’ group?”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was in Las Vegas talking to Republican Jews on Saturday mixing humor with barbs aimed at top Democrats like Hillary Clinton, running for the 2016 nomination for president.

The junior senator from Texas was addressing a packed room at the Republican Jewish Coalition Spring Leadership Meeting, where influential Jewish leaders also heard him talk about his love of Israel and the president’s failed foreign policies.

Cruz had a stacked scheduled that day, and was slated to head to Iowa from Nevada for a second confab with a Conservative Christian audience in Waukee, where he later talked about Democratic “liberal fascism,” intolerance and “extremism.”

But first he made time to do a little kibbitzing in Las Vegas.

“You know the ‘Ready for Hillary’ campaign has just announced they have their first title: director of email security,” he went on. The barb, referring to the scandal over Clinton’s use of a private server for her entire tenure as Secretary of State – and subsequent deletion of all emails she chose not to share with the U.S. government investigators – underlined one of the major points of the GOP campaign against the top Democrat.

Republicans are hoping to convince voters that Hillary Clinton is not honest or loyal and cannot be relied upon to serve the American people faithfully in the White House.

Although there’s plenty of evidence to support the contention, oddly it seems to be a pretty hard sell. All of the numerous GOP candidates are hammering on these points; perhaps one will get through.

So far Senator Marco Rubio seems to be closest to making the grade. In a recent Fox News poll, Clinton won 45 percent of voters’ loyalties with Rubio was close behind with 43 percent; a statistical dead heat between the two. No one else came as close from the GOP side of the fence.

Christians United Launch ‘Attend Bibi’s Speech’ Campaign, What about Jewish Groups?

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

The Christians United for Israel organization posted the message on its website and sent emails to its two million members, urging its followers to send e-letters imploring their elected representatives to attend Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the joint session of Congress on March 3.

The short sample letter explains that Netanyahu was invited by Speaker of the House John Boehner, and the issue about which Netanyahu will speak, Iran, is of critical importance. CUFI seeks to reach all congressional members, and hopes to persuade even those members who disagree with Netanyahu’s position to consider their constituents’ views.

The text of CUFI’s short sample letter is clear: “I can think of no issue more important for America, Israel and the West than our response to Iran’s nuclear efforts. And I can think of no voice on this issue more important than the Prime Minister of our front-line ally, Israel.”

The CUFI sample letter ends with a poignant plea: “Please don’t let partisan politics and petty excuses keep you from fulfilling the most basic of responsibilities of your office.”

The website links to the email accounts, by zip code, of letter writers’ congressional representatives.

SUPPORT OF JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS?

What about the Jewish organizations?

The head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abe Foxman, and the head of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rick Jacobs, said it was a bad idea for Netanyahu to speak before Congress in March.

The American Jewish Committee has nothing on its website about the speech, nor does the Jewish Federations of North America, or the Conference of Presidents.

Mort Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America. blasted the ADL and Reform Judaism leadership for criticizing Netanyahu’s acceptance of Speaker Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He also called out the leadership of the American Israeli Public Affairs Council and the American Jewish Committee for remaining silent on the speech issue.

The ZOA is pleading with its colleagues to support Israeli PM Netanyahu, Democratic Senator Menendez, Majority Leader John Boehner, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, Democratic Ranking member of the House Foreign Relations Committee Elliot Engel, and so many others to provide PM Netanyahu with this major forum to move us, to edify us, to inspire us to do more to stop this Nazi-like radical Islamic Republic of Iran from achieving weapons that could murder millions of Jews, Christians, Americans,  Europeans and others.

By not supporting Israel’s Prime Minister and Congress, we are sending a terrible message to Iran that we are not unified and strong in our resolve against this deadly enemy.

The ZOA’s Klein was focused on the leadership of other organizations; his group did not send out an action alert on the topic or call on its members to make their views known to Congress.

It appears that of the Jewish pro-Israel organizations, only two have done what CUFI has. The Washington, D.C.-based Endowment for Middle East Truth sent out action alert emails and placed on its website a request for members to call their congressional representatives to ensure they attend Netanyahu’s March 3 speech.

The New York-based Americans For a Safe Israel not only called on its members to urge their representatives in Congress to attend Netanyahu’s speech, but also to contact representatives who have said they will boycott the speech to express their outrage.

That’s a pretty short list.

UPDATE: The Republican Jewish Coalition also had a petition calling on its members to join in supporting “Bibi and Boehner to stand up to Iran.”

Obama Urges Resistance to ‘Donors’ (i.e. Jews) Pushing for Iran Sanctions

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

“Neocon” used to be the code word for Jews, now it appears to be “donors,” at least when used by certain politicians, including U.S. President Barack Obama.

Obama attended the Democratic Senate retreat Senate Democratic Issues in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday, Jan. 16.

During a discussion about Iran sanctions, the president urged senators to resist imposing additional sanctions against Iran. He vowed to veto legislation being drafted by Mr. Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, and Senator Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, that would trigger sanctions after multiparty talks are set to end this summer.

Obama said pushing for sanctions would undermine his authority and might derail negotiations with the Iranians. Mr. Obama also said if the U.S. were to enact increased actions it could lead international observers to blame the Americans, rather than the Iranians, if the talks collapsed before the June 30 deadline.

But then the president made what was interpreted as a veiled reference to Jews, which triggered a heated exchange in the otherwise courteous debate.

He said, according to the New York Times, that “he understood the pressures that senators face from donors and others.”

As Matt Brooks, the president of the Republican Jewish Coalition pointedly erupted: “What exactly was President Obama suggestion when he said opposition to his Iran policy is due to ‘donors’? No one would say opposition to his Russia policy is due to ‘donors,’ or his Cuba policy is due to ‘donors,’ or his general foreign policy is due to ‘donors.’ So why did President Obama single out those who seek tougher sanctions on Iran and ay their viewpoints are based on ‘donors’?

It was reported that one Senator in particular, Robert Menendez (NJ), rose to his feet and announced he took “personal offense” to Obama’s statement.

“The threat Iran poses to Israel and the western world is a national security issue. Attributing opposition to his Iran policy to the views of ‘donors’ is an inappropriate statement and it underplays the serious threat that Iran represents,” the RJC’s Brooks pointed out.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-urges-resistance-to-donors-i-e-jews-pushing-for-iran-sanctions/2015/01/17/

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