newsU.S.-Israel Relations

Republican congressional candidate: Israel will have no better friend

“It is insane that America is dictating terms for the national security of Israel,” Bryan Leib tells JNS.

Florida congressional candidate Bryan Leib with former president and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Credit: Courtesy of Bryan Leib.
Florida congressional candidate Bryan Leib with former president and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Credit: Courtesy of Bryan Leib.

Republican Bryan Leib of South Florida announced this week that he is running for Congress, saying that Israel will have no better friend than him if elected.

“I will work to enhance bilateral relations with U.S. allies around the world, with a special focus on Israel, and stand up against those who support the Iranian regime,” Leib, who is Jewish, told JNS on Thursday.

“There should be zero daylight between our two countries but unfortunately that is not the current state of affairs,” he added.

Leib, CEO of the Miami-based Henry Public Relations company and a senior fellow at the Center for Fundamental Rights in Budapest, said he decided to run to counter “the West’s attack on religious freedom, common sense and the traditional family unit.

“I am jumping into this race to be a strong voice and advocate for common sense and Judeo-Christian values that tens of millions of Americans support,” he said. “I am very hopeful about the future of our country and I believe that America’s best days are yet to come.”

Leib’s key goals include implementing federal term limits and supporting presidential candidate Donald Trump’s America First agenda.

“I am committing to serving a maximum of five two-year terms for 10 years at most. No member should be serving for more,” said Leib, referring to his Democratic opponent, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is also Jewish and has served as a U.S. representative since 2005.

“Throughout my time, I will work to introduce legislation that supports veterans, small-business owners and law enforcement, and makes education access available for every parent. Parents should not have to choose between putting food on their table and sending their child to the best schools,” he added.

In August, he will run against retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Chris Eddy in the Republican primary election for Florida’s 25th Congressional District. Whoever wins will face Wasserman Schultz in the general election in November.

‘Engaging in misleading diplomacy’

Circling back to the Middle East, Leib said the time has come for the United States to stop playing both sides and to take a clearer stand regarding its support for Israel.

“This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Jerusalem and during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, asked [him] not to go into Rafah. It is insane that America is dictating terms for the national security of the sovereign state of Israel,” Leib said. “Jerusalem should be able to do whatever is necessary to protect its borders and its people.”

On Wednesday, Blinken met with Netanyahu to discuss “ongoing efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as part of a hostage deal and emphasize that it is Hamas that is standing in the way of a ceasefire,” according to a statement from the U.S. State Department.

“Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security,” the statement continued. “He also discussed the need to avoid further expansion of the conflict and updated the prime minister on ongoing efforts to ensure a lasting, sustainable peace in the region.”

Without delving into details, the statement also read that Blinken “reiterated the United States’ clear position on Rafah.”

Last week, U.S. State Department’s top Middle East diplomat Barbara Leaf reiterated that the Biden administration has not given approval to an IDF military operation in Rafah, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip, where four of Hamas’s six remaining battalions are entrenched. 

“Absolutely not,” Leaf, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, told reporters. “We have not done any such thing. We have not green-lighted a military operation. I want to be very clear on that point.”

Leib said carrying out a military ground operation in Rafah is key to destroying Hamas and Israel should do what’s best for the country regardless of Washington’s position. “Whether America supports it should be immaterial,” he said.

“I really think it’s shameful that the Biden administration is engaging in misleading diplomacy—one day unfreezing millions of dollars for Iran and the next sending military aid to Israel, one day sanctioning Israeli businesses, and the next telling Israel where and how to fight its wars against Hamas and Hezbollah,” Leib added.

Taking a jab at Wasserman Schultz, Leib pointed out that “she voted in support of the [2015] Iranian nuclear deal and very rarely, if ever, criticized President Biden’s policy of sending billions of dollars to Iran which everyone knows go to terrorist proxies.”

Addressing the upcoming U.S. presidential election, Leib referred to himself as a “staunch supporter of Donald Trump.”

“He brought Tehran to their knees, he concluded the Abraham Accords; in his time, there was no daylight between Israel and America. He recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided and eternal capital and moved our embassy there,” Leib said.

“President Trump always stood with Israel. I will stand unequivocally and in an unwavering manner with Israel in its mission to finish Hamas once and for all and take the fight to any radical terrorist group that threatens and seeks to destroy the Jewish state,” he added.

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