NORPAC November 2019 Newsletter
Dr. BenMessage from Dr. Ben

Politics is a blood sport, and it has gotten tougher than boxing or MMA fighting. The House of Representatives, on a party line, has started the open impeachment inquiry of President Trump. The President has been under one or another investigation from his first day in office; first, the FBI investigation turning into the Mueller investigation, and now an impeachment inquiry. All with the election about one year away. 

This is the second impeachment movement I have lived through while involved in political advocacy. I personally felt the Clinton impeachment movement, as well as the Trump impeachment movement, was driven by emotions and that the more levelheaded leadership of the House both then and now lost control of their caucus. Partisan opinions run deep throughout the American citizenship and there is little one can do to sway those deeply committed D's or R's on this process. The Clinton impeachment was a disaster for the Republican party. It is likely the Democrats will face pushback from those voters who would prefer to see Congress focusing on other matters. 

During the Clinton presidency over 20 million jobs were created. President Trump is on track for similar results. Historically elections will tend to reflect  the national sentiment for Members of Congress involved in the impeachment inquiry and the state of the American economy.

What many people are not currently speaking about, but should impact the election, is that the majority of Americans have retirement accounts that have benefited from the stock market appreciation. State pension funds across the country, most of which are largely underfunded to some degree, were pulled out of illiquidity by the current Bull Market. This may be why, when the economy is good, all incumbents are favored.

The world's largest state sponsor of terrorism has started to increase its enrichment of uranium toward the creation of nuclear weapons. The regular threats of annihilation of America and Israel need to taken literally. The Iranian economy is being weakened by the American Administration-imposed sanctions as well as the expensive expansion of the Persian Empire. The announced finding of 53 billion barrels of reserves would normally add about $3.5 trillion to the value to the country. Fortunately they cannot use this wealth, as they cannot sell it due to restrictions placed on them. It does, however, highlight the absurdity of Iran needing nuclear technology for peaceful energy use. 

With all the military in the area on alert and heavily prepared for conflict, one misstep by either side can turn this cold conflict into a military one. The American and Israeli forces, and the mainland, need to be better hardened against drone and EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) attacks. Just introduced by Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Anthoney Gonzalez (R-OH) is a bill to have joint research by America and Israel to effectively combat drone attacks.

The Trump Administration has cut off funding for the Army of Free Lebanon (AFL) as there is no longer any daylight between the AFL and Hezbollah. The demographics of Lebanon have changed due to the migration of millions of Sunni refugees from Syria. Expect more civil unrest with Lebanon now a majority Sunni country under Shiite control. Hezbollah, long subsidized by Iran, is having to tighten its belt due to the faltering Iranian economy.

The threat of well over 100,000 upgraded missiles pointed at Israel is significant and can overwhelm any current anti-missile defense. Laser defenses are still in development in the western alliance and will likely be the most effective against onslaughts of thousands of missiles. One of the difficulties in laser systems is that currently the laser loses an effective beam through fog, clouds, or rain. Multiple countries are working on improving the effectiveness of these systems as they theoretically can take out incoming projectiles at the speed of light and this defense system does not run out of ammunition. 

The country is still a quagmire and, like Iraq and Lebanon, populated by groups with ancient animosities. Although having American troops there does have a stabilizing influence as it does everywhere, the Trump Administration has been intent on lowering the US footprint on the ground where tribal warfare has been going on for a millennium. The difficulty with this withdrawal is the successful American effort to eliminate ISIS, which created a power vacuum that Iran or Turkey will try to fill.  

NORPAC continues its efforts toward supporting Anti-BDS legislation and
is involved in promoting training high school students in Israel advocacy to prepare them for college campuses, many of which have been hostile to Israel and Jews.
NORPAC Members of the Month:
Linda & Raphael Benaroya
From Left: Linda Benaroya, Fmr. Senator Kelly Ayotte, Raphael Benaroya

Each month we recognize the accomplishments of our members and community leaders who help to advance the cause of pro-Israel advocacy. This month we express our great appreciation to Linda & Raphael Benaroya of Englewood, NJ.

The Benaroyas have been active in civic and philanthropic endeavors on local, national and international levels. Raphael served as an advisor to the Secretary of Defense on the Defense Reform Initiative. He is a Vice Chairman of Business Executives for National Security's (BENS), member of its Executive Committee and Co-Chaired its Policy and Development Committees. He led several delegations to Israel and India to discuss defense and security issues with top government officials.

They are active supporters of the local community as well. The Benaroya Sephardic Center, a part of Ahavath Torah for over 25 years, offers daily services as well as educational and social events. They also dedicated the David Benaroya Youth Wing at the Kaplen JCC.

Raphael Benaroya is the Managing Director of Biltmore Capital Management, LLC., investing in US real estate and working with Sovereigns and private sector on investment strategy, capital attraction and Foreign Direct Investment in Industrial, Energy, Technology and Consumer sectors. He served in the IDF from 1965-68.

Linda and Raphael have hosted several NORPAC events for Congressional leaders and newcomers alike, including Senator John McCain, Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Josh Mandel. They have co-sponsored dozens of other candidates that NORPAC has brought to Englewood to strengthen the US-Israel relationship.

Linda and Raphael Benaroya are pillars of our NORPAC Englewood chapter, and leading Israel advocates in the State of New Jersey. They have courageously promoted US-Israel relations for decades, and we look forward to continuing our important work with them through their advocacy and generosity.
Democratic Presidential Primary 2020

The field of Presidential candidates is still crowded on the Democratic side leading up the Primaries early next year. Below are some of the Israel positions taken by the candidates in the running. You can find more details on these candidates here.

Joe Biden
As a member of the U.S. Senate and later as Vice President, Biden supported continued security assistance to Israel. During his career, he has referred to U.S. assistance to Israel as “the best investment we make” and argued that “the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security and survival is fundamental to its strategy to the Middle East.”

Biden was Vice President during the negotiations with Iran for the nuclear deal and supported the deal. In 2018, he criticized President Trump for pulling out of the deal. In July 2019,  Vice President Biden pledged to re-enter the nuclear deal with Iran.

Former Vice President Biden opposes the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that targets Israel. He has stated that he will “continue to push against the calls here in the United States to boycott, disinvest or sanction Israel” because “it’s wrong.”

When asked if he would be open to “leveraging” U.S. assistance to Israel to push for policy change, former Vice President Biden stated that he finds the idea “absolutely outrageous” and that it would be a “gigantic mistake” to condition aid to Israel.

Michael Bloomberg
Reports say that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering entering the race for the 2020 U.S. Democratic presidential nomination.

Bloomberg has stressed his support for Israel and said he “couldn’t disagree more” with the values espoused by the BDS movement, but added that he also very strongly agreed with an institution’s right to sponsor a forum on any topic of its choice.

In one of his strongest pro-Israel positions, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg strongly defended Israel’s actions during the Gaza conflict in 2014.

In 2015 Mayor Bloomberg said that he had “deep reservations” about the Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from in May 2018. He said at an op-ed piece on Bloomberg at the time that he agreed with Senator Schumer that the vote on the Iran deal was a vote of conscience.

Cory Booker
Senator Booker has been vocal about the dangers and the need to confront anti-Semitism. He has said that anti-Semitism “is un-American, is anti-American” and that “it violates most deeply our commonly held values.”

Senator Booker supported the Iran nuclear deal and was against abandoning it. He did indicate however that if America were to re-enter the JCPOA there would need to be some further protections against Iran developing nuclear weapons.  

Senator Booker has stated that to him “Israel is not political” and that the U.S. has a “common cause with the state of Israel”. He supports the right of Israel to defend itself and has emphasized the need to “take steps on the global stage against a vicious act that targets Israel.” Senator Booker opposes the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the delegitimization of Israel. He has expressed support for the prior Cardin-Portman anti-BDS bill. 

Senator Booker voted against S1 the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act.

Pete Buttigieg
Mayor Buttigieg declared in June 2019 that he would reenter the Iran nuclear deal if he is elected President, arguing that the agreement made the U.S. safer and that getting out of it contributed to instability in the Middle East.

Mayor Buttigieg has said that he is committed to Israel’s security and the U.S.-Israel alliance, but that does not mean that he has accept “the political agenda of the Israeli government.” He has declared his support for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and argued that “a two-state solution that achieves legitimate Palestinian aspirations and meets Israel’s security needs remains the only viable way forward.”

In October 2019, Buttigieg said that the US has mechanisms to ensure that taxpayer support to Israel “does not get turned into US taxpayer support for a move like annexation,” indicating support for conditional aid to Israel. Although Buttigieg is reputed to have a Mensa intellect, it is confusing that as a gay married man he would fail to take note that in Ramallah him and his spouse would face execution for their life choices. In the entire Middle East, only in Israel or Israel controlled areas would he and his family be safe from deadly persecution. Unfortunate that he would single out Israel for harsh treatment. Some Genius. 

Kamala Harris
Senator Harris has been vocal about the dangers of anti-Semitism and has called to not become “complacent in the face of hate and anti-Semitism.”

Although not a Senator at the time and did not vote on it, Harris expressed support for the Iran nuclear deal. She suggested that she would reenter the Iran deal, but added that she “will want to strengthen it, and that will mean extending the sunset provisions, including ballistic missile testing, and also increasing oversight.” 

Senator Harris has expressed her support for the State of Israel and argued that Israel should never be a partisan issue. She has condemned anti-Israel bias at the UN.

In 2019, she was one of the Democratic Senators who voted against the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act which, among other things, strengthens Israel’s security and allows a state or local government to adopt measures to divest its assets from entities that boycott Israel. Nevertheless, she stated that she “strongly supports security assistance to strengthen Israel’s ability to defend itself.”

Senator Harris voted against S1 the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act.

Amy Klobuchar
In July 2019, Senator Klobuchar added her name to the list of cosponsors of Senate Resolution 120, which opposes the delegitimization of Israel and the global BDS movement.

Senator Klobuchar supported the Iran nuclear deal, arguing that the deal helped curb Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. During the campaign she has declared that she would reenter the deal of Iran abides by it and she reiterated her support for reentering the agreement in the first Democratic debate on June 26.

Senator Klobuchar supports the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and opposes the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In 2019, we are grateful Senator Klobuchar voted for S1 the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act.

Bernie Sanders
In September 2019, the Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign chose pro-BDS and anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour to be a surrogate for his Presidential campaign.

Senator Sanders believes that American defense aid to Israel should be used as leverage to pressure Israel, and has spoken about it several times during his campaign

Senator Sanders supported the Iran Deal, as he argued that the alternative was to go to war with Iran and that should be the last option. Recently he suggested that he would reenter the Iran deal if Iran abides by it and he is elected President.

Senator Sanders has declared that he does not support the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that targets Israel, but has been reluctant to support legislation that counter it.

Senator Sanders voted Against S1 the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act.

Elizabeth Warren
Senator Warren supported the Iran nuclear deal. During her campaign she suggested that she would reenter the Iran deal if Iran abides by it.

Senator Warren has stated that she opposes the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, but she came out against the Israel Anti-Boycott Act by arguing that “the boycott is wrong but outlawing protected free speech activity violates our basic constitution”.

In 2018, Senator Warren cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act, a legislation that supported full funding of security assistance to Israel as outlined in the 2016 U.S-Israel Memorandum of Understanding. 

Senator Warren voted against S1 the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act.

Andrew Yang
So far, Andrew Yang has a very limited record of public positions related to US-Israel relations.

During the second Democratic primary debates Yang said he would reenter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Mr. Yang has discussed Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship and argued that “Israel is a very, very important ally to the United States. Certainly, some of the actions that are being taken there are deeply problematic and run afoul of some of the standards we would like to see countries meet.” He added that he “would be hesitant to say whether that they are in violation of those standards.”
U.S.-Israel Relations in the News​​​​​​​ 

The Trump administration froze funding to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in the amount of $105 million on October 31st. The LAF has been criticized as an ineffective counterbalance to the influence that Hezbollah has on the country, and is often presumed to be working with the terrorist entity that controls tremendous political clout.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey, the first woman to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee, announced in October that she will be retiring from the House of Representatives next year.

Lowey has been a supporter of the US-Israel relationship for more than 3 decades. She will be greatly missed, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) passed away mid October at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office said. He was 68.

The Maryland lawmaker established Israel project to bring Jewish and black communities closer

Four members of the House of Representatives demanded that Twitter remove Hamas and Hezbollah from their platform in an Oct. 22 letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

The Oct. 22 letter was written in response to a Sept. 17 letter from Twitter Director of Public Policy and Philanthropy Carlos Monje, Jr. to Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.). Monje who wrote that Twitter bans accounts affiliated with Hamas and Hezbollah’s military factions, but not their political wings.

in Mid October, a top group of government leaders from the United States and Israel met in Washington, D.C. for the annual U.S.-Israel Joint Economic Development Group’s meeting. This meeting, chaired by Israel’s Minister of Finance, U.S. Secretary of Treasury, and U.S. Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, convenes economic policymakers from both countries together to map out new areas for bilateral cooperation and joint innovation.
Upcoming Events
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
Thursday, December 5 - Englewood, NJ @ 7:00 PM

From Left: Dr. Ben Chouake, Senator Warner, Jack Rosen

Debbie & Michael Blumenthal welcome Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) to a NORPAC event at their home in Englewood on Thursday night, December 5th.
Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Sunday, December 8 - Five Towns, NY @ 9:30 AM

NORPAC Long Island will host an event for Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in the Five Towns on Sunday morning, December 8th.
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY)
Sunday, December 8 - Queens, NY @ Evening

From Left: Rep. Meng, Dina & David Steinberg

NORPAC Queens welcomes Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) to an event on Sunday evening, December 8th.
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sunday, December 15 - Teaneck, NJ @ 7:30 PM

From Left: Leader McConnell, Dr. Mort Fridman

NORPAC Teaneck welcomes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to an event on Sunday evening, December 15th hosted by Drs. Esther & Mort Fridman.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Thursday, December 19 - Englewood, NJ Dinner Event

From Left: Moshael Straus, Senator Menendez, Dr. Ben Chouake

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
January, 2020 - Five Towns, NY

NORPAC Five Towns welcomes Senator Bill Cassidy to an event in January, 2020.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)
January, 2020 - Englewood, NJ @ Evening

Debbie & Michael Blumenthal welcome Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Senate Democratic Whip, to a NORPAC event at their home in January, 2020.
Upcoming Events (Dates Pending)
Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Late 2019 - Englewood, NJ
Marion & William Weiss and Dr. Roslyn & Leon Kozak will co-chair an event for Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS).
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
TBD - Five Towns, NY

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be hosted by the Stern Family on in the Five Towns later this year, and in Teaneck, NJ.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
Rescheduled date pending - Englewood, NJ 

Senator Cornyn (R-TX) will be hosted by Dr. Paul & Esther Lerer 
Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD)
TBD - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Esther Fridman, Sen. Rounds, Mort Fridman

NORPAC Teaneck welcomes back Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) to an event in late 2019/early 2020.
Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)
TBD - Bergen County, NJ

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) will be hosted in Bergen County in late 2019/early 2020.
Congressman Max Rose (D-NY)
TBD - Five Towns, NY
Freshman Congressman Max Rose (D-NY) will be hosted in the Five Towns later this year.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
TBD - Bronx, NY
Jessica & Jason Muss welcome Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to an event at their home later this year.
Recent Past Events
 Ritchie Torres for Congress (D-NY15)
Sunday, November 17 - Five Towns, NY

From Left: Aryeh & Naomi Davis (hosts), Ritchie Torres, Trudy & Stanley Stern
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Tuesday, November 12 - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Dr. Robert Goodman, Rep. Deutch, Sarah Goodman

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Thursday, October 24 - Englewood, NJ

From Left: Irene Gottesman, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Robert Gottesman

Senator Tina Smith (D-MN)
Sunday, September 22 - Englewood, NJ

From Left: Michael Blumenthal, Senator Tina Smith, Debbie Blumenthal
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sunday, September 22 - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: David Schlussel, Senator Collins, Rena Schlussel
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Tuesday, September 17 - Closter, NJ

From Left: Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, Congressman Sherman, Arthur Sinensky
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Sunday, September 15 - Five Towns

Senator Joni Ernst (middle, red) with the Stern/Gibber family
Senator James Risch (R-ID)
Sunday, September 15 - Englewood, NJ

From Left: Avi Samuels, Senator Risch, Dr. Richard Schlussel
Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL)
Wednesday, July 31 - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Allen Friedman, Rep. Brad Schneider, Phil Goldschmiedt
Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ)
Sunday, July 21 - Englewood, NJ

From Left: Esther Muschel, Senator McSally, David Muschel

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Sunday, July 14 - Englewood, NJ
From Left: Howard Jonas, Sen. Graham, Jonas Family
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Sunday, June 30 - Riverdale, NY

From Left: Congressman Engel, Joshua Landes
Seeking Hosts and To-Be-Scheduled Events

We like to host as many Senators and important House members as we can each election cycle.

We are seeking hosts for events for the following candidates at this time:

Senate Members:
Doug Jones (D-AL)
Dan Sullivan (R-AK) Event Chair Trudy and Stanley Stern
David Perdue (R-GA)
Dick Durbin (D-IL) Event Chair Michael Blumenthal
Ed Markey (D-MA)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) Event chairs William Weiss and Leon Kozak
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
​​Thom Tillis (R-NC)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 
Jack Reed (D-RI) Event Chair Mort Fridman
John Cornyn (R-TX) Event Chair Esther & Paul Lerer
Mark Warner (D-VA)
John Thune (R-SD) Event Chairs Marc & Allan Berger

House Members
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
John Lewis D (GA) Event Chair Mayor Michael Wildes
James Clyburn (D-SC)
Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)
Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) 
Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Liz Cheney (R-WY)
Gary Palmer (R-AL)
Kay Granger (R-TX)
Adam Smith (D-WA)
Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Alcee Hastings​​​​​​​ (D-NY)
Donald Norcross (D-NJ) Event Chair Mayor Michael Wildes

Time to step into the Ring (Host an Event)
Now that we have had the Mission to Washington, here comes the followup. We are busy contacting the Members and staffers, working to form relationships, and hopefully solidifying key contacts with Members.

Sponsoring a parlor meeting in your home is a sign of friendship and leadership, and is well-recognized by the Members of Congress. It sets you in an elite class of citizen advocates that is engaged both on a time and energy basis, and a financial basis. If you wish to take such a leadership role please contact me at
With Friends Like These

My "good friends" have been regularly complaining to me about the fact that I am getting fat. So I went to the doctor for a checkup.

My doctor told me to double my exercise. I asked which part should I double, the half about talking about it or the half about thinking about it?  He was not amused. I was instructed it was time to make a life change. 

I am proud to announce, I have recently converted my own home treadmill machine from a clothing hanger back to a treadmill. Tally Ho. 
Educational Initiative

The college campus climate against Israel and Jews has gotten overtly hostile, and the NORPAC leadership has taken the task to help protect and prepare our students. NORPAC lay leadership is coordinating with the Yeshiva Day Schools to facilitate training students for Jewish Advocacy.  We plan to teach them how to defend Israel and themselves as Jews in class, how to debate, practice public speaking, and how to address fellow students about these issues.

Training our high school students is the most cost efficient and most effective way to prepare the next generation for what lies ahead.

NORPAC has posted curriculum from various sources on the Website and our members are engaged with the schools in setting up the programs and integrating advocacy knowledge and skills into the school curriculum. For anyone interested in a leadership role at their school, please contact or

Current lay leaders funding this initiative at various schools include:
Abigail & Scott Herschmann, Monique & Mort Katz, Anne & Jerry Gontownik, and Esther & Ben Chouake.

We are looking for additional lay leaders for this Student Advocacy team. Please contact me or Avi if you are willing to help. 
Renew Your Donation

Pray for the safety of the IDF and Israel, and do something more. Donate to - and participate with - NORPAC, an organization in the front lines of virtually every struggle to ensure the survival of the Jewish homeland. Our work gives Jerusalem greater agency to protect its people.

The NORPAC general fund is becoming depleted with the enormous volume of events we have sponsored. It is our responsibility to contribute so that this miracle in our lifetime can continue.  Please do your part so that we can continue to facilitate the survival of America, Israel, and the Jewish people. Your donation is more than Tzedakah (charity), it is Pikuach Nefesh (saving lives).

Every dollar counts. Please go to to donate, or call Avi Schranz at 201-788-5133.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at future events.

Ben Chouake, MD (Dr Ben)
President NORPAC
Paid for by NORPAC