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January 7, 2015 1:11 pm

Republican Jewish Coalition Celebrates Party’s Senate Majority, Redoubles Pro-Israel Efforts

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U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) replaced Eric Cantor as the only Republican Jew in the House of Representatives. RJC's reception on Tuesday also celebrated his swearing-in. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – On Tuesday night, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) is hosting a reception in Washington, DC to celebrate the upcoming Republican US Senate majority. Notable attendants will include Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and politicians such as US Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, John McCain, of Arizona, and Rob Portman of Ohio.

The GOP won back control of the Senate in last November’s midterm elections. Republican Jewish donors and activists say they are now redoubling efforts to promote pro-Israel policies in collaboration with similarly aligned groups such as evangelical Christian organizations, including offers to arrange trips to Israel for prospective 2016 presidential candidates.

The RJC “has a well-developed strategy which was executed during former Majority Leader Cantor’s tenure and will continue with the new leadership team in the House and new Senate majority, thus ensuring strong, virtually unanimous Republican support for Israel at this dangerous time,” Florida mall developer Mel Sembler, who contributes to the RJC and sits on its board of directors, told Politico.

“Every candidate is going to want to appear before the RJC and to win support among different people within the RJC because they understand the depth of contributions that individuals in the RJC can and will make,” said president George W. Bush’s former White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, who is also on RJC’s board. Fleischersaid he expects that RJC’s membership “will have feet in all the different camps, and then, once we know who the nominee is, we’ll unify like we always do and it will be a powerful unity.”

Several major Republican Jewish donors are beginning to show support for former Florida governor Jeb Bush as a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

“It’s very important that whoever emerges to be the Republican Party nominee for 2016 is someone who recognizes the consequences of America being weak and inconsistent with our foreign policy,” said US Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, who is replacing Eric Cantor as the only Republican Jew in the House of Representatives. Tuesday’s reception will also celebrate Zeldin’s swearing-in.

Meanwhile, Jewish representation in the 114th US Congress has actually dropped. Among the 535 combined members of the House and Senate, there are 28 Jews, five fewer than there were in the 113th Congress.

But Jewish representation in Congress is still relatively high when compared to the percentage of Jews in the overall American population. Jews make up 5 percent of Congress and 2 percent of the total adult population in the US.

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  • Emmit Jones

    Too bad I was hoping that America would break ties with the evil Rothchild nation that leaches 3 billion dollars a year off American taxpayers and has caused all kinds of problems for the US in the mideast. They want our soldiers to fight their wars. God Bless Obama he was one of a kind and Israel was put in their place. I hate IsraelI don’t care if Iran nukes you idiots either. Israel did 911

  • I have been a proud member of the RJC since Year 2000. I serve on its National Womens’ Board the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Chapter. I attended the RJC Celebratory Party in DC and can attest that it was terrific. Throughout the evening, between 20-25 Senators arrived; they mingled and chatted readily, and generously posed for photos. Surprise guests included Lynne and Vice-President Dick Cheney, both of whom also interacted openly with the crowd and cheerfully posed for photos. Senatorial attendees included Johnson, Corker, Gardner, Cotton, Scott, Ayotte, Toomey, Cruz, McCain and many, many others. Representatives dropped by as well.
    While a Jewish organization, the RJC welcomes like-minded folks of all religions, who share our love for America and a strong Israel.
    Matt Brooks, our national director and his team did a spectacular job. Sam Fox, former RJC Chairman and former Ambassador to Belgium and current Chair, David Flaum, inspired the crowd and kept the evening moving expertly.
    Lynne Lechter, Esq.