Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks Joins Us To Talk Israel, Hamas, and the US Response
On This Episode of the What’s Right Show:
Sam Mirejovsky and the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Matt Brooks, report back from the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Annual Leadership Summit.
Watch the FULL Interview:
About Matt Brooks:
Matt Brooks serves as Chief Executive Officer of both the Republican Jewish Coalition, an organization dedicated to enhancing ties between the Jewish community and the Republican Party, and the Jewish Policy Center. This think tank examines public policy from a Jewish perspective.
In addition to his duties leading the RJC, Matt also serves as the organization’s principal spokesman. In this role, Matt has been a frequent guest on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC and quoted extensively in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other major newspapers.
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Sam Mirejovsky (01:58.85)
Greetings, friends Sam Mirejovsky here, Newstalk 840 KXNT. Welcome to the What’s Right Show brought to you by Sam & Ash Injury Law. Friends, as promised, here in studio with me, a very dear friend of mine, Matt Brooks. Matt, welcome to the to the What’s Right Show studios. It’s good to have you in Vegas.
It’s great to be in Vegas, Sam. Thanks for having me on the show.
Now, Matt, you are the grand poobah himself, the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Yesterday and today, I’ve been talking a little bit about the conference this weekend. Thank you for the invite. It was absolutely incredible. Now, the Republican Jewish Coalition, what is it? And why is it important to conservatism and the movement broadly and also to America?
Well, we are a national grassroots organization of Jewish activists who are engaged in the political process on the Republican side. We have two real broad goals and objectives. Number one, we work within the Republican party to promote issues of concern to the Jewish community, standing with Israel, making sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon, combating anti-Semitism, et cetera, et cetera. And then what we also do is we have a political component in which we go into the Jewish community and we try and maximize support.
Uh, for Republicans, both in terms of financial resources, uh, campaign contributions and such, uh, but also votes. Uh, so we’ll work in, uh, communities that have large Jewish, uh, you know, Jewish population and we’ll work to really turn out the Jewish vote on behalf of our Republican candidates. Yeah. It’s, it’s, uh, by the way, I just, I was, uh, blown away at the, I mean, for you had all the top Republican presidential contenders, they all showed up. This was a clearly a must do event. And then I am, you know, I It’s obvious to me how many different ways that you guys are engaged in promoting, you know, I think the right agenda in Washington. And it brings me to an interesting point. I’ve always been baffled by this. I think there are a few different explanations, but I wanna hear yours.
Sam Mirejovsky (04:17.986)
I am absolutely mystified. And I say this as a non Jew, I say this as a as your as your Gentile friend, I am absolutely mystified how an American Jew can be a Democrat, a liberal Democrat, especially now, and in particular, you know, this month, we’re here on the last day of the month, October 7, looming over us what you know, the events obviously of this month. Explain it to me. I mean, you’ve got insight to it, you’re in the thick of it. You talk to these people, you talk to Democrats on the other side of the aisle. And, you know, on things like the idea that we would appease Iran. I mean, to me, that seems like an absolutely self defeating proposition. So what’s the what’s the story here?
Well, I think in the broader context as to the why. You know, I defer to guys who are a lot smarter than I am, who have written about this. So if you take a look, I mean, Norman Potthart’s, Dennis Prager have written extensively about this phenomenon in which for so many people in the Jewish community, their liberalism has supplanted their Judaism as their real core religion. So with their religion being liberalism, you can understand in the context as to why so many of them act against their own self interest in the Jewish community. But the interesting thing, and I’ve been doing this, I started at the Republican Jewish Coalition back in 1988. And so I’ve been doing this for a while. The good news is, is that is changing. We’re seeing significant shifts within the Jewish community away from the Democratic Party and to the Republican Party. And so, you know, just look at the last several elections.
You know, in 2020, President Trump got 30.5% nationally of the Jewish vote. You have to go back all the way to Ronald Reagan to find a Republican who did as well among Jewish voters as that. But you know, the important thing is you look down, you know, that 30.5% is a national number, but what’s really interesting and what’s really telling is in the key battleground states that decide elections, you know, we don’t really care what the Upper West Side of New York’s Jewish community does or West Hollywood because California and New York are irrelevant in terms of us getting to 270 to elect a president. But states like Florida are very important. There are battleground states in that. In Florida, according to the national exit polls, Donald Trump got 43% of the Jewish vote. He got 50% of the Jewish vote in Georgia. These are states that matter.
And the fact is, I never thought I’d see a time in my life where we would have basic parity among Jewish voters between the Republicans and Democrats. I’m confident that trend line is going to continue. And I hope that we get to the point where we actually outpoll as Republicans, because you know, it’s hard. No matter your politics, to me, it seems, you cannot objectively look at events as they are spiraling out in the world today with anti-Semitism rampant here in the United States, what’s happening with the war in Gaza, what’s happening with Iranian aggression and all of these things, and not have a common sense attitude that, hey, you know, we’ve got to do something different. Even though I’ve been a lifelong progressive, even though I’ve been a lifelong Democrat, what have you, it’s just not working. And we’ve got to take steps to rectify that. And that’s, you know, I hope there’s some epiphany there that this all this horribleness, you know, brings about and getting people to rethink, you know, how they view these problems.
Yeah, I, you know, I see it on, for example, a subject like multiculturalism, right, which has been this, this dogma that from the entire time that I’ve been alive has been a, almost, I don’t know, almost a dominant component of leftism in this country. Now, we’re seeing that we have we have filled our country with people that want us dead. I mean, and when I say us, I mean, it’s, it’s not just the hostility that you’re seeing towards Jews, you’re seeing, you know, you’re seeing generalized hostility toward anyone that is, is white or is successful or is, is perceived to be hostile to the liberal establishment, the word colonizer, right, as almost interchangeable with other slurs against…
Sam Mirejovsky (08:56.446)
Against, you know, more specific groups, because they want us they’re they’ve got an agenda here, and they want nothing more than to then, then to and to eliminate broad portions of our society. And we’ve allowed this to happen under the guise of tolerance. So I think, you know, I think that that’s going to be the awakening that happens, I hope and I, I hope you’re right, because it’s almost an existential problem for all of us in this country.
And the other part of that equation as to how we got here, and I think is really has been so pernicious, is the whole idea of intersectionality, right? Right. You know, we have, in the Jewish community, there are segments that have tried to have common cause and, you know, with George Floyd, they’re out marching with the Black Lives Matter folks. And, you know, the Black Lives Matter folks are now the people leading the charge in support of Hamas and against Israel.
And, you know, it’s just they’re seeing their true colors. And the Jewish community is starting to realize is hey, you know, maybe all these friends we had in the progressive movement really aren’t our friends anymore. They aren’t. They aren’t. So it brings me to then to this. I think I shared this with you yesterday. The poll got released this new signal poll came out about attitudes following the October 7 attack. You’ve seen this. Yep.
And it’s basically polling, you know, has your opinion changed? Following the of a particular group, right? And there’s different things that are tested, following the October 7 attack. And one of the things that they looked at is change in attitudes of the Democratic Party versus the Republican Party. Now, I would think for my vantage point that among Jewish Americans, the this the events of this last month would have increased support for the Republican Party over the Democratic Party. And in fact, the opposite was true. What’s your take on that? I think there’s two takeaways from that. And I’ve really had a been fortunate enough to sort of drill down into the cross tabs and the numbers on this poll. And, you know, I think that part of this is a timing issue, right? So if this had happened, you know, probably…
Sam Mirejovsky (11:18.254)
October 10th, if the poll had been in the field, say October 10th, right after the attack, it would be a different set. But, you know, keep in mind that by and large, from a perspective of articulating the right stuff, Joe Biden has been so strong. So people don’t really perceive yet that there is a truce difference of opinion, because all of the pressure that the Biden administration has been press has been putting on the Israelis to to scale back their invasion, to hold off, to ceasefire, to bring in humanitarian support. You know, that’s delayed what Israel needs to do to eliminate Hamas, but people don’t see that. So all they hear, and I give credit to the president for standing publicly with Israel and sending a message to the rest of the international world. So that’s…
reflected in that. And then I think this is also really reflects a lot of the drama that we’ve just concluded with the chaos in the House and trying to get a new speaker. And, you know, that was dominant in the news as well and sort of, you know, gave the Republicans the appearance of being like the Keystone cops running around without, you know, like chickens with their heads cut off. So to absolutely horrendously mix a metaphor there. But so I think that’s reflected in there.
when we test this again, say in three months, four months, whatever where the numbers are, I think they’ll be more in line with what our expectations as you articulated are, in terms of the Republicans being seen more favorably. Yeah, I’m gonna have to take a quick break. But my thinking is that what I fully expect to have happened is that Biden is going to disappoint. Yeah, of course. I mean, he’s saying all the right stuff now. But and the other part of it is, at what point do we figure out that he and his administration were the cause of this problem to begin with. Bear with me if you can. We’ll just hang here through the quick break. You’re listening to the What’s Right Show. I’ve got Matt Brooks here, CEO of the RJC, the Republican Jewish Coalition, just a tremendous human being all around, great friend. And maybe we’ll even lighten this up next segment. I mean, he asked if we could do some jokes here. So I don’t know. We’ll maybe we’ll get to that. Don’t go anywhere, folks. What’s Right Show will be back in just a moment.
Sam Mirejovsky (15:24.094)
All right, folks, welcome back. Sam Mirejovsky here. The What’s Right Show is on in studio with me is Matt Brooks, CEO, the head, the grand poobah of the RJC Republican Jewish Coalition. These are great people. Matt is a dear friend. I’m so happy to have him here in beautiful downtown Las Vegas. Okay, before we talk politics, do you love Vegas? Or what’s your what are your thoughts? Because you’re East Coast guy. But but you know, here, you’re visiting Vegas, you’ve been on the ground now for almost a week.
Are you enjoying yourself? I love Vegas. Vegas is my home away from home. So it’s always great to be here, especially today with Halloween, getting to see this town in all its glory. And be careful. It’ll get wild. You’re still staying tonight, so you’re going to see some stuff. Yeah. No, there’s a lot of French maids and nurses walking around the streets of Las Vegas. Yes, they don’t all have medical training.
Just just a word of the wise. And are you now you’re also you’re a poker player. I mean, don’t tell anybody. No, that’s like a because I like to you know, when I sit down at the poker table, I like him to think that I know you’re the ringer. I like Yeah, I want him to be the I want to think I’m the mark. Perfect. I used to I’ll just tell you one funny story. But I know we’re short on time, but it used to be before I would play in the poker rooms a lot and get get known by all the other players. You know, they’re like at the Venetians, always a big convention hotel. So I would find somebody, I’d give them 20 bucks for their name badge, you know, so I could sit down at the table, Stan, Topeka, Kansas, you know, International Hardware Association. And I would sit there and they would be salivating to have me in the game. And then I would just run over the table and, and it worked well and good until one person said, oh, where are you from in Topeka?
And I’m like, you know, downtown, where downtown? I did a lot of tap dance. You got discovered. I did. I love it. Well, speaking of getting discovered. So so just before the break, we’re talking about Biden weakening in the knees on his in Israel stance. I agree with you. He’s so far said a lot of the right stuff. Although you’re beginning to hear some noise about let’s really go the Palestinians versus Hamas and
Sam Mirejovsky (17:48.394)
I have plenty of examples of rank and file Palestinians saying some very abhorrent things. So I’m leaving that where it is. He’s gonna weaken. No question. And will people notice? People are gonna notice because it’ll be, it’ll go beyond the private phone calls to Prime Minister Netanyahu. It’ll start to be public. Look, today’s Halloween, there’s, you know, Joe Biden is a scary guy. I mean, it’s…going to be he is going to have tremendous pressure from his left flank domestically, from the international community, from the UN and everybody to rein in the Israelis. And that’s that’s, like I said, that’s going to be scary, because the one thing Israel needs is to know that the international community in the United States has its back and has, you know, enough of a runway for them to take the time to do the job right. What we don’t want to see happen is this.
Groundhog Day that we’ve seen so many times before where Hamas acts up. Israel does a retaliatory strike to dismantle some of the infrastructure, the international community starts to say, you know, enough is enough, and they don’t finish the job. And then like cancer, it just regrows again. So they have got to, they have got to excise the cancer so it doesn’t metastasize anymore and deal once and for all for the threat from Hamas. Well, I said this yesterday on the show, I said, you know, they need Israel needs to do what they need to do free from our interference. And it’s interesting, because I think I, the first presidential hopeful that spoke at the conference this weekend was the Vivek Ramaswami. And of course, he got he got booed a fair amount. Because his he’s a he’s not interventionist. And he’s looking to scale back aid or part of his platform is eliminating aid to Israel. But he did say something.
That is that we saw I think a lot of people missed in the in the conference and that was that the aid that we give to Israel, the USA to Israel, then oftentimes time seems to me at least to come with political handcuffs that you get a guy like you know, you we put the aid out there and then in comes an Obama presidency, for example, and Obama look Obama hates Israel and
Sam Mirejovsky (20:12.818)
So Obama, you know, if there’s a flare up and Israel needs to go in hardcore, there the Obama people are telling the government in Israel and they have to listen to it. And I think some of that hold back already has happened this past month, where, you know, there, so what’s your, what’s your thought on this? I mean, how I’m, I’m not, I’m not, I think that a, we need to, we need to support Israel. I think Israel is an important ally, but at the same time, I don’t, I don’t want to see Israel hamstrung by the political whims and ups and downs of our political system. So the interesting thing about aid to Israel is that almost 100% of it gets re-spent back in the United States, creating American jobs. Right. So when they use the aid to buy F-16s, that means Lockheed Martin is getting jobs to build the F-16s for the Israelis. All of the ammo, Raytheon, General Dynamics, all these companies do the high tech missile guidance systems and everything. So it all comes back and creates American jobs. It’s not money that’s being spent in Israel. And that’s lost on, you know, a lot of people who make an argument. Because unlike other countries, it is essential for Israel security and Israel survival that it has the strong military, but all of that expense comes back and creates jobs here in the US. Yeah, it’s not like funding LGBTQ programs in Ghana, for example, which we do. Yeah, it is not into a black hole. It is.
It is a twofer gives Israel the benefit it needs and America benefits by creating jobs. So at the conference, you know, the goat himself comes out at the very end, Donald Trump did all this Maximus in all of his glory, and he gets a hero’s welcome. I mean, the crowd goes wild. Funny story, people don’t remember this. You know, Trump was in 2015 and 16 ran as a non interventionist. And yet he has, I think turned out to be an
Well, his presidency was one that I think every, every Jewish American and supporter of Israel can be proud of. So what you know, what are your thoughts? Is that is that a correct perception on my part? Is that? Yeah, I think it is, you know, he and I had a few minutes to chat backstage before he went on and we were sort of commiserating. You know, he was just ticking off the things, you know, he said, you know, when I was president, you know, we didn’t have Russia invading Ukraine, we didn’t have…
Sam Mirejovsky (22:40.586)
the situation with Hamas and Gaza, we had peace with Israel and the in their Arab neighbors with the Abraham Accords. So it was, you know, he gets it. And he’s got a great record to build on. That’s why I got the reaction that he did. Yeah, fantastic. Matt, we’re out of time, unfortunately, but I see you brought a bottle of wine. Is that for later? That is for later. Visit our friend Esther in her kitchen. I love it. I love it. Well, thank you for coming in and joining us here. I know I know you’re a busy guy and got a lot going on. And hopefully if they’re gonna have you back here sometime on your next visit to Las Vegas, it won’t be long. So I love it. Well, friends, that was Matt Brooks here in studio with us beautiful downtown Las Vegas, Matt Brooks, CEO of the RJC Republican Jewish Coalition. I Sam Mirejovsky your host of the What’s Right Show will be back in just a moment.