“What starts with Israel and the Jews, never ends with Israel and the Jews,” Nevada congressional candidate David Brog contends.
A Jewish, pro-Israel activist who helped found Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and has spent the last seven years fighting anti-Semitism on college campuses, Brog has now set his sights on Capitol Hill.
The primary election has been underway since last Saturday, with some early voters having already cast their ballots. The state primaries are officially set for June 14.
Brog is the former chief of staff of the late Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.). He is running to represent the 1st Congressional District against Democratic incumbent Rep. Dina Titus, who has held her seat since 2013. However, with recent re-districting, the seat – which includes Las Vegas but now many more Republican-heavy suburban areas – has become more competitive.
Brog told ALL ISRAEL NEWS during an hour-and-a-half Zoom interview that he saw the shift in his state (he has lived in Nevada for the last seven years) not only as an opportunity to help Republicans “take back the House,” but to fight some of the “threatening trends” he has witnessed in recent years as head of the Maccabee Task Force.
The task force, funded by the late Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, is focused on fighting anti-Semitism on college campuses. But Brog said that he has seen in recent years that the campus is no longer the center of the fight. Rather, the “dangerous and silly ideas of college campuses have broken out and taken over the centers of our cities.”
“One thing I learned when I worked with Sen. Spector is that the base yields inordinate influence on people running in their party,” he said. “Inevitably, politicians will follow the base and we have seen that play out in real-time.”
Brog used to see radical Islam as the greatest threat to Israel, America and Judeo-Christian civilization in general, he said. Today, he sees the greatest threat to be “right here at home. There is a crisis of confidence right here. We have a new generation that does not believe America is great or even good. When you deprive the world of American leadership, all of humanity suffers.
“What is especially sad to me, is that the people who those on the Far-Left acclaim to care about – marginalized people, people of color – these are the people who suffer the most from the implementation of their bad ideas,” Brog said.
He cited inflation as an example. According to Brog, the country has been on a rampage of unnecessary social spending, printing money and thereby decreasing its value.
“We did all this because we say we care about lower-income people,” he said with a chuckle. “But we just gave lower-income people the worst and largest tax in history: inflation.
“We need to remind people that as imperfect as America is, it has brought enormous benefits to those people who are privileged to be American,” he continued. “There is a reason why people all across the world are struggling to get here.”
TO DEFEND ISRAEL, BROG SAID HE'LL TAKE RASHIDA TLAIB TO LUNCH
At the same time, Brog said he would use his “bully pulpit” to fight against rising anti-Semitism, which he said not enough officials are “taking seriously and focusing on it.”
“There is a consensus that [anti-Semitism] is … unacceptable hate,” Brog said, “What I am worried about is that antisemitism that is being dismissed as just being anti-Zionism. The delegitimization of Israel crosses the line into anti-Semitism. Not only is this not universally condemned, but it is being celebrated in some sectors of our culture. And I don’t see enough leaders fighting back.”
He acknowledged that, if elected, he would only be one voice out of 435, but he said he plans to be a leader on this issue – against the Left and even among his potential House Republican colleagues, some of whom have also been accused of anti-Semitism. But he said in the case of most elected officials, they are likely not hateful, just uneducated.
Some people, Brog said, are not anti-Semitic because “they hate in their hearts,” but because they have come to embrace a false narrative perpetuated in a woke ecosystem.
These are the people, he said, that you can reach by having a conversation or by taking them to Israel and showing them a reality that can change their minds.
Brog said he would have lunch with anyone on Capitol Hill who is willing to listen, including outspoken anti-Israel activists Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).
“My opening assumption is that people have goodwill. Let them prove to me they are impervious to the facts,” Brog said.
When it comes to Israel, he takes a similar stance, believing that the U.S.-Israel relationship is not only the ultimate example of how America should run its foreign policy but that the relationship is just as good for the U.S. as it is for Israel.
“Israel is fighting our shared enemies on our behalf, and she is doing it well,” he said. “We should learn our lesson from Iraq and Afghanistan, but I think some of my colleagues are reaching the wrong conclusion” and becoming isolationists. “Let’s find allies like Israel and support them.”
He cited India, Japan and Ukraine as other important allies.
“Support for Israel is not charity but enlightened self-interest on America’s part,” Brog stressed. I intend to be a friend and champion of Israel. We already have a friendly Republican caucus, but we don’t have enough leaders focused on the issue… The next time AOC accuses Israel of putting Palestinian kids in cage-like prisons, I will be on the floor refuting her false narrative. We need a voice like this on the conservative Right.”
HE'S JEWISH, BUT HE HELPED FOUND A CHRISTIAN NGO
Brog is deeply familiar with the Christian Right because of his years as executive director of CUFI. But he told ALL ISRAEL NEWS that when he first learned of Evangelical Christian support for Israel and their love of the Jewish people, he did not believe it. On the contrary, he thought it was rooted in deception.
“I used to ask myself, ‘Do they only support Israel to bring about a second coming?’ and ‘Do they only love us to try to convert us?’” Borg recalled. But he said he started reading up about Christian Zionists, including a book by Pastor John Hagee. Ultimately, he came to the conclusion that Christians who love Israel – “and it is not all of them and maybe not even a plurality of them” – don’t do it for any reason that the Jewish community should fear.
“The reason Evangelicals support Israel is identical to the reasons that we support Israel: the promise by God in the book of Genesis, chapter 12, verse 3,” he said.
That verse reads, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”
And these Christians also believe in the Jewish prophecies as explained in the books of Isaiah and Daniel, Brog said.
“When you spend time, you realize that this love is real and sincere and based on the same Hebrew Testament that generates so much Jewish love of Israel,” Brog concluded.
It was that revelation and the relationship he formed with Hagee through reading some of his books that led Brog to help the pastor found CUFI. When he started, the organization had zero members. When he left to head the Maccabee Task Force, it had 6 million. Today, CUFI boasts more than 10 million followers, and Israel is no longer seen as a Jewish issue on Capitol Hill but an issue of concern to Evangelical Christians in every Congressional district.
“When President [Donald] Trump moved the U.S. embassy [from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem], he said he did it for the Evangelicals,” Brog said. “We would not have seen a politician make that kind of statement of calculation when we started CUFI in 2006.”
Brog considers himself a member of the National Conservatism movement, which aims to put religion and traditional values back at the center of the Conservative movement. Brog said Trump espoused many of the movement’s values.
“When a lot of people on the right were unhappy about Trump’s victory, we saw some good things in it,” Brog said. “Trump was basically running as a National Conservative, as someone who said there are things that come before or rival free markets and individual liberties. That we should care about family and nation. We like a conservatism that says that when we take our industries and move them abroad, that has real consequences for workers at home. Nationalism should matter too.”
Brog said there was “no future for people like me in our party until Donald Trump came along.”
BROG: ‘I WANT TO TAKE BACK THE HOUSE’
Brog has a lengthy laundry list of topics he plans to tackle if chosen, but he said the top three would be inflation, border control and Israel.
As the grandson of immigrants, he said he is a “big fan” of legal immigration, but he takes “moral issue” with illegal immigration. He believes new citizens should have to learn English and assimilate into American society.
There are a handful of people running against Brog in the primary, but in just one quarter – Brog threw his name in the race only in February – he raised more cash than all the others, which he said is essential in a race where TV and digital ads and direct mail are as important, if not more, than human interaction.
“Dina Titus has voted with [President Joe] Biden and House Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi 100% of the time,” Brog stressed. “I won’t question her decency or intentions, but I take issue with the policies she has supported and the results – enormous harm to our country.
“These things were not inevitable, and they need not be permanent,” he concluded. “I want to take back the House and put a brake on the worst ideas and impulses of the Biden administration.”
Maayan Hoffman is a veteran American-Israeli journalist and strategic communications consultant. She is the former news editor, head of strategy and senior health analyst for the Jerusalem Post, where she launched the outlet's Health & Wellness, Business & Innovation and Christian World portals.