BRIEFING MEMO | March 5, 2024

Produced by Dillon Hosier

CEO & ICAN National Co-Chair
Los Angeles, California

SUper Tuesday Preview,
Mr. Gantz Goes to Washington,
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Florida Declares "Israel Day" At the Capitol

Welcome to our first ICAN Defend Israel Briefing Memo, a periodic report on the latest key developments on matters related to Israel, the United States, and our mission at ICAN. Today, we’re taking a look at Super Tuesday big election day, Benny Gantz’s visit to Washington, and some positive news with the State of Florida declaring “Israel Day” at the Capitol. We also take a look at this weeks municipal level resolutions against Israel. Hope you enjoy this new briefing memo!

The ICAN Defend Israel Memo is a periodic newsletter featuring political news, legislative updates, and key insights providing you with a comprehensive overview of the issues that matter most to ICAN’s most committed supporters.

SUPER TUESDAY PREVIEW

What to Watch for on Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday is a pivotal moment in the 2024 presidential primaries, with President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump expected to secure their positions for a rematch. The day will see contests in 16 states, covering a wide geographic range and impacting congressional seats and gubernatorial races.

Key Points:

  • Nikki Haley’s Last Stand: This may be Haley’s final opportunity to challenge Trump’s dominance in the GOP presidential nomination race.
  • Biden’s Strengths and Weaknesses: The primaries will test Biden’s support, especially in states like Minnesota, where a significant protest vote could signal dissatisfaction.
  • Trump’s Suburban Challenge: Trump needs to make gains with college-educated suburban voters, a group that has been resistant to his appeal in recent elections.
  • North Carolina’s Gubernatorial Race: The contest between Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and Democratic state Attorney General Josh Stein is one to watch, with implications for both parties.
  • Texas Democrats’ Senate Race: Rep. Colin Allred is the frontrunner to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz, in a race that could be a key opportunity for Democrats.
  • California’s Senate Race: The battle to fill Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat could see a Republican, Steve Garvey, making it to the general election.
  • Alabama’s Congressional Redistricting: New district maps will impact the state’s congressional delegation, with notable races in the 1st and 2nd Districts.
  • California House Races: Democrats are targeting several Republican-held seats in their bid to regain the House majority.
  • Criminal Justice Ballot Measures: San Francisco and Los Angeles will have measures on the ballot that test voters’ attitudes toward criminal justice policies.

SUPER TUESDAY POLLS CLOSE

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What is Super Tuesday? Why it matters and what to watch
Super Tuesday, scheduled for March 5, 2024, is a critical day in the U.S. presidential primary election process. On this day, a total of 15 states and one territory will hold their primaries or caucuses, making it the day when the largest number of delegates are up for grabs. This year, the participating states include:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and American Samoa.

The outcomes on Super Tuesday play a significant role in shaping the race for the presidential nominations of both major parties, often providing a clear indication of the leading candidates. Read more from the Associated Press.

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ICYMI Member of the squad and anti-Israel member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, was accosted yesterday by pro-Hamas protestors. 

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GANTZ GOES TO WASHINGTON

Vice President Kamala Harris hosted Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s wartime Cabinet and a political rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Washington.

Gantz’s visit includes meetings with several senior Biden administration officials, such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. This visit occurs amidst Harris’s call for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, advocating for a halt in fighting for at least six weeks and urging Israel to facilitate aid delivery to the region.

The White House has been pushing for a framework deal that would allow for the cessation of hostilities and the delivery of significant aid to Gaza. Israel has essentially agreed to this deal, with the expectation for Hamas to join. Gantz’s visit aims to strengthen US-Israel ties, support for Israel’s war efforts, and advocate for the release of Israeli hostages. His trip will continue to London for further meetings. Read more from NBC. 

Tweet from U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris

Israeli minister lambasted at White House about Gaza and war strategy
March 5, 2024 | Axios

During Benny Gantz’s visit to the White House, he faced strong criticism from U.S. officials over Israel’s handling of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and its war strategy. The meeting highlighted the White House’s frustration with the Israeli government, with Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan pressing Gantz on the need for Israel to significantly increase aid to Gaza. This visit, which Prime Minister Netanyahu did not support, underscored the internal political rivalry in Israel and the Biden administration’s increased pressure on Israel following a disastrous aid convoy in Gaza. The discussions emphasized the U.S.’s demand for Israel to facilitate more aid and the broader implications for U.S.-Israel relations, including potential impacts on Israeli-Saudi normalization and the path to a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu’s War Cabinet Is at War With Itself
March 4, 2024 | The Wall Street Journal

This article discusses the internal conflict within Israel’s wartime cabinet, highlighting Benny Gantz’s defiance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by planning and executing a trip to Washington to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris.

This move, seen as a challenge to Netanyahu’s authority, comes amid tensions over the war in Gaza and domestic policy issues, such as the demand by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for legislation to draft ultra-Orthodox men into the army—a proposal that threatens Netanyahu’s coalition with ultra-Orthodox parties. The narrative portrays Gantz, Gallant, and Netanyahu as rivals with a complex history of political ambitions and disagreements. The U.S. administration’s invitation to Gantz is interpreted as a sign of dissatisfaction with Netanyahu, amidst concerns over his reliability as a partner. 

Opinion | Biden administration hides Gaza policy behind Harris and Black women
March 5, 2024 | The Wall Street Journal, Opinion

This opinion piece by Karen Attiah critiques the Biden administration’s approach to the Gaza conflict, particularly highlighting the role of Black women in the administration, including Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Attiah argues that deploying Black women as the face of America’s policy on Gaza, where over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, serves to both enforce and soften the appearance of U.S. complicity in the conflict. She criticizes Harris for not directly condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza and for not questioning the transfer of weapons to Israel, instead referring to the situation as a “catastrophe” without naming the deliberate blockade and assault by Israel.

The column also contrasts the administration’s current actions with the historical struggle of Black Americans, suggesting that the use of Black women in these roles is an attempt to lend moral authority to U.S. policies while not effectively challenging or changing the conditions in Gaza. Attiah calls for a more substantial change in policy that would address the root causes of the conflict and end the suffering of Palestinians, questioning the effectiveness of representation when it does not lead to meaningful change in policy or action.

NOTICE: These articles are shared for informational purposes only and do not constitute support or endorsement. It is important for our community of advocates to stay aware of the current discourse around the issues that matter most to our mission. 

FLORIDA SETS ISRAEL DAY AT CAPITOL

In a rededication of the enduring friendship and shared values between Florida and Israel, the Florida Senate has passed SR 1826, a resolution to designate February 29, 2024, as “Israel Day at the Capitol.”

Spearheaded by Senator Book, this resolution underscores the deep-rooted alliance and strategic partnerships that have flourished between Florida and Israel over seven decades. Highlighting the economic, educational, and technological collaborations that have benefited both regions, as well as the pivotal role of Florida’s vibrant Israeli and Jewish communities, SR 1826 stands as a testament to our shared democratic ideals and mutual respect. As we celebrate this landmark resolution, it not only reinforces our commitment to combating antisemitism and strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance but also spotlights the significant contributions of Israeli innovations to Florida’s economic and technological landscape.

Summary of the Main Points:

  • Special Relationship Acknowledgement: The resolution acknowledges the seven-decade-long special relationship between the United States and Israel, based on shared democratic values, common strategic interests, and mutual respect.
  • Recognition of Israeli and Jewish Communities: It recognizes the large and vibrant Israeli and Jewish communities in Florida.
  • Combating Antisemitism: It notes the efforts of student groups, such as NolePac at Florida State University, to combat antisemitism on campus and strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance.
  • Strategic Partnerships: It highlights the establishment of over 20 strategic partnerships and memoranda of understanding between Florida and Israel entities in May 2019, including agreements between universities and the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership involving Space Florida and the Israel Innovation Authority.
  • Economic Benefits: It outlines the economic benefits to Florida from its partnership with Israel, noting over $400 million in exports from Florida to Israel in 2022.
  • State Alliance: It reaffirms the longstanding alliance between the State of Florida and the State of Israel.

SR 1826: Israel Day at the Capitol
Location: State of Florida | Date: Thursday, February 29, 2024

ICAN Position: Support | Read The Full Resolution

Local Resolutions this week

A resolution supporting and urging for a permanent cease-fire in Israel and in Gaza and the West Bank
Location: Milwaukee County, Wisconsin | Date & Time: Monday, March 4, 2024 at 3:00 PM

ICAN Position: Oppose | Read The Full Resolution

Resolution urging local elected officials representing the City of Poughkeepsie to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza
Location: Poughkeepsie, New York | Date & Time: Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 6:00 PM 

ICAN Position: Oppose | Resolution Text Not Yet Available

Resolution Expressing the Board of County Commissioners’ Concern for the Impacts of the War in Gaza and Calling for a Ceasefire.
Location: Arcata, California | Date & Time: Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at 6:00 PM

ICAN Position: Monitoring | Resolution Text Not Yet Available

Resolution Expressing the Board of County Commissioners’ Concern for the Impacts of the War in Gaza and Calling for a Ceasefire.
Location: Multnomah County, Oregon | Date & Time: Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 9:30 AM

ICAN Position: Oppose | Read The Full Resolution

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