The Republican Jewish Coalition launched a $10 million campaign — an unprecedented amount in partisan Jewish advertising — with online ads depicting 2020 Democratic presidential candidates as a “disgrace.”Videos titled “Shanda,” Yiddish for “disgrace,” blast the Democrats for saying they would consider reducing aid to Israel.
“The radical Left has taken the reins of the Democratic Party, and their policy proposals will devastate our national security, our alliance with Israel, our economy, and our health care system,” Matt Brooks, the RJC’s executive director, said in a statement announcing the release of the 15- to 30-second ads.The placement of the videos on Facebook, YouTube and other media will cost $50,000. Brooks confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency a report in Axios that the RJC had budgeted $10 million for its 2020 efforts.Brooks explained that the ad is a first in a multi-million-dollar effort to reelect Trump and other Republicans in Congress. According to Brooks, RJC's digital and television ads had an impact in states like Florida and Pennsylvania during the 2016 elections."We want American Jewish voters to understand what's at stake in November 2020," he said. " Look for much more from the RJC in the months ahead."In the 15- to 30-second spots, “leading Democrats” are accused of “turning their back” on Israel. They show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is Jewish.Schumer and Pelosi were featured speakers last week at the J Street annual conference, where three of the four Democrats leading in polls ahead of primaries said they would consider cutting some aid to Israel to leverage compliance with U.S. policy. Those three are Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. Four other candidates rejected leveraging aid, including former Vice President Joe Biden, another front-runner, in forceful terms.Sanders and Warren are accused of "cozying up with fringe groups who attack Israel," likely referring to their participation in the recent J Street annual conference. A screenshot of a Jerusalem Post article with the headline about Sanders calling the Israeli government "racist" flashes onto the screen.“Front-running Democrats are campaigning on cutting critical aid to the world’s only Jewish state,” the ads say.Jewish Democratic Council of America Executive Director, Halie Soifer, pushed back and said that RJC's chairman and others sharply criticized Trump before he became president, "Yet later abandoned [their] values."The RJC released an ad called 'shanda' or shame, in order to gain Jewish votes," she tweeted. "It won't work. Since Donald Trump has been in office, Jewish support for the GOP has been halved because Trump doesn't share our values, and Jews know the real shanda is in the White House."She said that it is a "shanda the RJC would amplify and support Trump's policies, which are antithetical to Jewish values. It's a shanda the RJC has said nothing about Trump's emboldening of antisemites and white nationalists. A $10 million war chest won't change that."