Republican Jewish Coalition Backs ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 23: Retired Marine Corps Gen. James "Jim" Mattis speaks during the DIRECTV and Operation Gratitude day of service at the fifth annual DIRECTV Dealer Revolution Conference at Caesars Palace on July 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for DIRECTV)
Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for DIRECTV

The Republican Jewish Coalition, the most powerful organization among politically conservative Jews, is formally backing the nomination of retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

In a press statement, RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said:

“The selection of General Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense is a smart and important decision by President-elect Trump. Throughout his career, General Mattis has made the protection of the United States, our assets, and our allies around the world, his top priority. General Mattis believes in a strong U.S. military posture and understands of the threats we face, like a newly aggressive Iran. He has the type of worldview the leader our Defense Department needs.

“For decades, bipartisan national security and foreign policy experts, representatives of our allied nations, respected foreign policy think tanks, and pro-Israel organizations have praised General Mattis’ work. We are happy to stand with them and fully support this appointment.”

In 2013, the RJC led the fight against the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-ND) as Secretary of Defense, based on Hagel’s track record of anti-Israel statements and his support for what critics called a posture of appeasement toward Iran.

As Breitbart News noted Thursday, Mattis has come under criticism for remarks about Israel that he made during a speech at a conference in 2013. The Zionist Organization of America has opposed Mattis’s nomination; the Jewish Institute for the National Security of America has supported it.

On the left, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) has criticized Mattis’s nomination (using it as an opportunity to take a gratuitous swipe at Breitbart News and Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, who is on leave from the company as he takes up a post in the Trump administration.)

The far-left group J Street, which supported Hagel’s confirmation enthusiastically in 2013, has evidently been too busy defending Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) against charges of antisemitism to respond to the Mattis nomination.

Ellison, a candidate for Democratic National Committee chair, claimed in 2010 that U.S. policy in the Middle East is “governed” by Israel.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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