JDCA End of Week Roundup

Friends,

The past two weeks have been nothing short of busy. JDCA responded forcefully to the tragic killing of 17 students and teachers in the twelfth school shooting of 2018, Board members met in Washington with Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, more overt anti-Semites were discovered running for political office as Republicans, and Israel defended its borders against Syrian and Iranian aggression. Meanwhile, Leader Nancy Pelosi made congressional history.

JDCA calls for immediate action on gun reform
JDCA demands that Congress and our state legislatures open “real” debate on gun control, and pass laws that will protect Americans from death by firearms. There is no simple or single answer but rather a combination of things we need to do. We need universal background checks, bans on military style weapons and accessories that are designed to kill large numbers of people, limits on the purchase of massive quantities of bullets and magazines, as well as stopping online gun sales; and, yes, as part of the response, a far more robust response to mental health care.

Meeting with Ambassador Danny Danon
JDCA board members hosted Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, for lunch and a frank and open discussion. Topics included Israel’s challenges in the United Nations, both public and behind the scenes; relations between Israel and the Palestinians; the complicated issue of pluralism in Israel; and most of all, the ambassador’s oft stated desire to see bipartisan support for Israel in the U.S.

We assured him that JDCA shares the same goal of bipartisan support for Israel.

Iranian drone flown into Israel prompts military response; Tillerson avoids Israel
On February 10, Iranian forces located in Syria deployed a drone into Israeli airspace. After shooting down the drone, the Israeli Air Force engaged and reportedly destroyed nearly half of Bashar-al Assad’s air defenses in Syria. We support Israel’s right to defend herself, particularly when Israel’s borders are breached by Iran.

JDCA called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to add Israel to his then-underway Middle East trip to show solidarity and to coordinate a unified strategy to counter Iranian and Syrian aggressions against the Jewish state.

Anti-Semites running for office as Republicans
Arthur Jones, the likely Republican candidate running for Congress in Illinois’ third congressional district, shocked a CNN reporter after defending his Holocaust denial and the anti-Semitic content on his website. Jones is the former leader of the American Nazi Party and current head of the America First Committee. Meanwhile, Fredy Burgos, a Republican Party leader in Virginia, posted a quote on social media suggesting that Jews should not be able to run for public office.

Nancy Pelosi defends Dreamers for eight hours straight on the House floor
Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the House Democrats, launched into an impassioned and unprecedented eight-hour speech defending Dreamers last week. DACA, the program that provided protections to undocumented people brought here as children, is set to begin phasing out in March, putting at risk of deportation almost a million young people who have known no other home but the United States. We praised Leader Pelosi’s bold advocacy, and this has been an issue that we and so many others in the Democratic Party feel strongly about.

It’s not even six months after our launch, and JDCA is already on the map. Check out some of the press we’ve gotten recently.

Jerusalem Post: Op-ed: Democrats remain in the pro-Israel camp, despite Pew poll
Jewish Journal: Op-ed: Everyone Counts
JTA: Chuck Schumer: Orthodox Jews should do more to call out Trump for failing to condemn neo-Nazis

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Shabbat Shalom,
Ron Klein
Chair, Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA)