RJC Turned Israel Partisan


In “On Israel, Cardin Is Still the Best Choice” (Oct. 5), right-wing pundit Rachel Avraham remarks that “Democrats have begun abandoning the Jewish state when Israel should never have become a partisan issue in the first place.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Traditionally, U.S. support for Israel has been bipartisan. However, during the Bush and Obama presidencies, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) assiduously sought to turn it into a wedge issue. Keep in mind that RJC is not a Jewish advocacy/defense group that happens to vote Republican; it’s a GOP organization that targets Jews for outreach. In other words, the objective of the RJC is not to raise Republican awareness of a Jewish community consensus on a given issue, but to persuade Jews to accept the Republican consensus. Indeed, as reported, the RJC even admits that its function is to “educate the Jewish community” about (the GOP line on) “domestic and foreign policy issues,” not to educate the GOP about Jewish communal interests and social values.

Thus, an elective (pun intended) affinity between the RJC and the Christian right.

According to none other than the late veteran Republican consultant and GOP insider Arthur J. Finkelstein, “The political center has disappeared, and the Republican Party has become the party of the Christian right more so than in any other period in modern history,” as reported in The New York Times in 2004.

And who, you might ask, is Finkelstein, and why does his opinion matter? Because he is the individual who the Jewish Times’ sister publication the Washington Jewish Week identified as the RJC’s exit survey pollster in a Nov. 14, 2012, piece, “Is 70 percent enough?”

As to his conservative bona fides, Finkelstein served as a pollster for both Ronald Reagan and Benjamin Netanyahu. And he is the individual credited for turning the word “liberal” into a political slur.

Interestingly, Jews for the Christian Right yields the acronym JRC, which is an anagram of RJC. Coincidence? Hardly.

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