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Third GOP debate scheduled for Nov. 8, co-hosted by Republican Jewish Coalition

US presidential candidates will be expected to weigh in on Israel-Hamas war

Republican presidential candidates during the second Republican debate of the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Sept. 27, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake)

The U.S. Republican National Committee has chosen the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Salem Radio Network (SRN) and NBC News to co-host the upcoming Republican presidential primary debate, according to U.S. media outlets.

The event will take place on Nov. 8, from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at the Adrienne Center for Performing Arts in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

The third Republican presidential debate marks the first time a Jewish organization will co-sponsor a national presidential debate.

The announcement comes amid the Israel-Hamas war, following the brutal unprecedented attacks by the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hamas against the Jewish state on Oct. 7.

Recent polls show Republican voters are strongly supportive of Israel and in favor of continued U.S. assistance to the Jewish state.

According to a CNN's SSRS poll of 1,000 adults late last week, 78% of Republicans said they sympathize with the Israeli people and 68% justified Israel’s military response to Hamas’ attacks.

A joint NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll of 1,113 American adults showed an 80% GOP disapproval rate for U.S. President Joe Biden’s approach to the war in Gaza.

American Jews, however, typically vote for Democrats, with 70% or more casting votes for Democratic presidential candidates.

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) and several Republican candidates have been outspoken about Biden’s weak stance toward Iran, particularly his recent decision to unfreeze $6 billion worth of assets in exchange for 5 American citizens detained in the ayatollah regime.

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley reiterated on Sunday that while serving as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, she warned the UN Security Council (UNSC about the threat Hamas posed to Israel and tried to label Hamas as a terror group in the Chamber and the General Assembly. Her efforts were reportedly opposed by other members of the council.

"They have reported that Hamas maps and social media show the fastest routes to reach Israeli communities in case demonstrators make it through the security fence. They have reported on Hamas messages over loudspeakers that urge demonstrators to burst through the fence, falsely claiming Israeli soldiers were fleeing, when in fact, they were not," she reportedly told the UNSC.

Haley went on to address the Hamas attack of key cross points, including attaching Molotov cocktails to kites that were then flown over the border into Israel. She rejected calls by some members of the council for Israel to show restraint.

"I ask my colleagues here in the Security Council, who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has. In fact, the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained."

Hamas continues to go unlabeled as a terror group nor sanctioned by the UNSC, unlike its fellow terrorist groups, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, ISIS.

Republicans have criticized President Biden, who is scheduled to visit Israel on Wednesday, for his approach to the current conflict. While Biden has shown strong support for Israel, more recently he has urged the Jewish state not to occupy Gaza and to keep the path open for a two-state solution.

“There needs to be a Palestinian Authority. There needs to be a path to a Palestinian state,” the president said.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, who has received backlash for calling Hezbollah ‘smart’ for attacking Israel from the north, is not expected to be present at the debate. His condemnation of Israel’s lack of preparedness for the Hamas attack at the Gaza border did not go unnoticed by members of the Republican Jewish community who have supported Trump in the past.

“Criticizing someone that’s fighting for their life is pretty naive and not the least bit productive,” said RJC board member Fred Zeidman.

Other presidential candidates have not been as strong in their support of Israel during the conflict.

Vivek Ramaswamy has made statements questioning the extent of U.S. defense assistance for Israel and the “selective moral outrage” Republicans have shown at the mass terrorist attacks.

The RJC is slated to host several presidential candidates, including Trump, later this month during its annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas.=

The Republican primary debate on Nov. 8 will be broadcast on the NBC network, streaming, and digital platforms, as well as the RNC’s streaming platform, Rumble.

The GOP has yet to announce which candidates have qualified to participate and who will be mediating the debate.

International affairs and foreign policy are expected to be the primary focus of the November debate, as well as recent spikes in domestic antisemitism, according to Matt Brooks, CEO of the RJC.

Brooks noted in an interview that it was not yet clear what role the RJC would have during the debate.

“I don’t know who it will be that represents the RJC yet, we haven’t made that determination,” he said. “But whoever is there as the representative of the RJC either in person, live or via taped remarks will ask the questions.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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