Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

RJC owes an apology to the American Jewish Community


January 22, 2021

Although never a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, I have endorsed their efforts over the years in being at the Republican Party table and promoting Republican candidates who support a strong American/Israel relationship.

Their work has been and continues to be particularly important in the face of a Democratic Party, moving more leftist and more antagonistic to Zionism and a strong and secure Israel and still retaining the support and loyalty of a substantial majority of American Jewish voters.

The RJC has also been a bulwark within the Republican party against right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism in the Republican rank and file and some of whom hold public office. Their work in being a significant American Jewish presence and influence in the Republican Party should continue.

However, the RJC made a disastrous mistake in supporting the president after his decisive and honest defeat in the November election. The president’s alleged claims of election fraud and a rigged election became more obviously false with each recount and failed court hearing. Nevertheless, the RJC continued backing the president until they finally, but inadequately took a neutral stand on objections to certifying the election by Congress.

On the morning of Jan. 5, 2021, a day before the crucial vote and as it turned out, the day before the attack on the Capitol by the insurrectionists, I e-mailed the following to the RJC:

To the Policy Makers of the RJC,

While I have always applauded the work you do on behalf of Israel in maintaining a bipartisan posture for the Israel/U.S. special relationship by strengthening Republican political support for Israel; and the work you have done in the Georgia Senate race to maintain a Republican majority, it is clearly time to abandon a president who has run amok and is a short timer in office.

I think the RJC should not stand neutral to this assault on the electoral process by the 145 or so congressional Republicans and the 12 or 13 Republican senators who intend to object to certifying the election of Joe Biden to the presidency. These elected officials should be unambiguously condemned for their stand on this position, which has been overwhelmingly rejected by every responsible agency of government including the Supreme Court.

You will lose considerable respect and support from rational Jewish and other conservative Republicans if you persist in cowardly not taking a stand against this attempt to decertify the election results and the will of the American people.

We lost this election. Republicans need to accept this result as the current will of the American people and remember that political wins and losses in a democracy are never permanent; they only last until the next election. The clock has run out on Trump. Time to take a collective long and deep gaze into the mirror and begin preparation and rebuilding for the new political season which has already begun.

There is no place in the American political scheme for violence, demagoguery and ungracious defeat. Under no circumstances can you protect and defend the U.S. Constitution by violating its provisions.

The declared neutrality on the vote certification issue and the failure by the RNC to publicly call out the president and his extreme followers, although unintended, contributed to the insurrection; and mandates an immediate sincere and heartfelt apology to the American Jewish Community and to the American People.

If you wish to comment or respond you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail.com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner.

Mel Pearlman holds B.S. & M.S. degrees in physics as well as a J.D. degree and initially came to Florida in 1966 to work on the Gemini and Apollo space programs. He has practiced law in Central Florida since 1972. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; was a charter board member, first vice president and pro-bono legal counsel of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as holding many other community leadership positions.


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