Republican Jewish Coalition
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), formerly the National Jewish Coalition, founded in 1985, is a Republican political lobbying group in the United States that promotes Jewish Republicans. The RJC claims that it is the most important voice on conservative political issues for the Jewish-American community. The RJC has 44 chapters throughout the United States.
The official mission statement of the RJC is to foster and enhance ties between the American Jewish community and Republican decision makers in the United States. According to its website, the RJC "works 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."
The group's policy platform objectives include terrorism, national security, United States-Israel relations, Mideast peace process, The Palestinian Authority, Syria, Iran, immigration, energy policy, education, school prayer, affirmative action, the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, adoption, crime, taxes, welfare reform, faith-based initiatives, health care, Medicare reform, Social Security reform, and government reform.
Debate about the success of the RJC
The RJC has hosted successful activities and events such as the Presidential Candidates Forum, leadership trips to Israel for Members of Congress, governors, and other political leaders, and creating a high-level presence at the Republican National Convention. In 2005, President George W. Bush attended the RJC's 20th anniversary celebration.
- In 1992, George H. W. Bush (R) won 11% of the Jewish vote.
- In 1996, Senator Bob Dole (R) won 16% of the Jewish vote.
- In 2000, George W. Bush (R) won 19% of the Jewish vote (even though Senator Joe Lieberman was selected as the Democrats' Vice-Presidential candidate)
- In 2004, preliminary results indicate President George W. Bush (R) received likely support of 25%.
- In 2008, exit polls showed that John McCain received 21% of the Jewish vote.
- In 2012, Mitt Romney received 31% of the Jewish vote.
In certain state and local elections, Republicans have received support from the Jewish community:
- In the 2003 Recall election in California, an estimated 31% of Jews voted for Republican Candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Political activities during the 2008 presidential election
During the 2008 election campaign, the RJC ran a series of advertisements in Jewish newspapers around the United States, mostly critical of Barack Obama and linking him to individuals such as Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Patrick Buchanan. Salon.com also claimed the RJC was participating in polling phone calls ("push polls") made to potential voters in Pennsylvania and Florida that reportedly asked negative questions about Obama.
Barack Obama presidency
The RJC has been highly critical of the Obama administration's policies. The group has questioned Obama's relationship with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samantha Power, and Chas Freeman, whom it believes to "possess strong anti-Israel biases that are well documented". The RJC has also attacked Hillary Clinton for having made remarks regarding the US putting more pressure on Israel. These arguments received attention and were significantly challenged by the National Jewish Democratic Council.
During the 2012 election campaign, the RJC stepped up activities to include direct mailings to specific Jewish people, claiming that a Jew should not vote for Obama, and that Jews that had voted for Obama will not do so again.
Support for Israel
The Republican Jewish Coalition is fervent in its uncritical support of and loyalty to Israel. At a RJC event in Los Angeles on February 1, 2010, guest speaker Rep. Michele Bachmann answered a question propounded to her by stating that "if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States".
- Mission Statement, RJC webpage.
- Policy Platform from RJC website
- "President George W. Bush addresses the RJC on their 20th anniversary", White House news release, September 21, 2005.
- http://www.rjchq.org/News.asp?Formmode=Detail&ID=705[dead link]
- "2008 Jewish Vote for Obama Exceeds All Expectations", National Jewish Democratic Council webpage, November 5, 2008.
- Stanley, Marc, "OP-ED: Why Jews voted for Obama", Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 5, 2008. Retrieved on April 5, 2009.
- Windmueller, Steven, "Are American Jews becoming Republican? Insights into Jewish political behavior", Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs webpage, 15 December 2003.
- http://www.rjchq.org/Newsroom/newsdetail.aspx?id=ce510352-05f1-4297-a5e1-5ea717374569[dead link]
- Koppelman, Alex, "Republican Jewish group conducted anti-Obama poll", Salon.com, September 17, 2008.
- http://www.rjchq.org/Newsroom/newsdetail.aspx?id=a9fb689a-9061-4f72-a6d8-8bf6501c240a[dead link]
- Keyak, Aaron, "Petition: Tell RJC to Stop Promoting Falsehoods About the Obama Administration", National Jewish Democratic Council webpage, March 17, 2009.
- Zeleny, Jeff, "Mogul Courts Jews for the G.O.P.", The New York Times, July 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- Direct Mail advertising from RJC, Copy available
- Birkey, Andy, "Bachmann: America ‘cursed’ by God ‘if we reject Israel’", The Minnesota Independent, February 08, 2010.
- Official Website
- Welch, Matt, "Republican Jewish Coalition Bars Ron Paul From Presidential Debate, Saying He's Too 'misguided and extreme'", Reason, December 1, 2011.