Since 1988, every U.S. administration has invested in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, but nearly three decades of failure strongly suggest that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations need rethinking. The Congressional Israel Victory Caucus calls for a new U.S. approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending the emphasis on Israel making "painful concessions" and instead putting the onus on Palestinians – they must give up the goal of destroying Israel and recognize Israel as the Jewish state. The result will be beneficial for both Israel (which will no longer face a rejectionist enemy) and the Palestinians (who can start to build their own polity, economy, society, and culture). The Congressional Israel Victory Caucus builds on ideas promoted by the Middle East Forum that are now gaining support among analysts, in the U.S. Congress, in the executive branch, and in Israel.
Rep. Bill Johnson
Bill Johnson was born and raised on family farms, where he learned early the values of hard work, honesty, and sacrifice. Those values have stayed with Johnson throughout his life and have made him the leader he is today.
Johnson entered the U.S. Air Force in 1973, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after a distinguished military career of more than 26 years. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Troy University in Troy, Alabama in 1979, and he earned his Master's Degree from Georgia Tech in 1984. During his tenure in the U.S. Air Force, Johnson was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate from the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Squadron Officers School, and Air Command & Staff College. Bill is also a proud recipient of the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. As Director of the Air Force's Chief Information Officer Staff at U.S. Special Operations Command, Johnson worked directly with senior congressional and Secretary of Defense representatives, as well as top leaders within the various U.S. intelligence communities, to ensure America's Special Operations forces were adequately equipped to carry out critical national security missions.
Following his retirement from military service, Johnson turned to creating and building high technology businesses. He cofounded Johnson-Schley Management Group, Inc., an information technology (IT) consulting company that increased revenues by more than 200% in just three years under his leadership. In 2003 he left Johnson-Schley to form J2 Business Solutions, Inc., where he focused on providing executive level IT support as a defense contractor to the U.S. military.
From 2006 through 2010, Johnson served as Chief Information Officer of a global manufacturer of highly engineered electronic components for the transportation industry headquartered in Northeast Ohio. As a member of the executive leadership team, he managed a multi-million dollar departmental budget.
Since first being elected in 2010, Johnson has been fighting to create jobs in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, improve services to our nation's heroes - our veterans, and to make our federal government more effective, efficient, and accountable to the American people. He's working hard to ensure that our children and grandchildren are blessed with the same opportunities of previous generations. Johnson has led the effort in the House of Representatives to defend the coal industry from executive and bureaucratic overreach, and to secure American energy independence. Seven bills authored by Johnson were signed into law during his first two terms.
In November of 2016, Johnson was elected to a fourth term to serve the people of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio. Johnson retained his seat on the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee that is charged with providing a key role in developing America's energy, healthcare, and telecommunications policies (among others), while providing oversight on the Administration's implementation of these laws. Johnson also serves on the House Budget Committee. Additionally, he is a member of the House Shale Caucus.
Johnson is the author of the book entitled "Raising Fathers", in which he addresses the importance of fatherhood, and begins confronting the destructive social and cultural impacts caused by the staggering number of America's children that are being raised in fatherless homes.
Congressman Johnson, and his wife LeeAnn, currently reside in Marietta, Ohio with a son, Nathan. Johnson is also the proud parent of three grown children: Joshua, Julie, and Jessica, and is a grandfather of six.Message on CIVC: "Israel is America's closest ally in the Middle East, and the community of nations must accept that Israel has a right to exist – period. This is not negotiable now, nor ever. The Congressional Israel Victory Caucus aims to focus on this precept, and to better inform our colleagues in Congress about daily life in Israel and the present-day conflict." Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL): bio (https://desantis.house.gov/about) Message on CIVC: "Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East, as we share common national interests and possess similar national values. Israel is not the problem in the Middle East; it is the solution to many of the problems that bedevil the region. American policy must ensure that Israel emerges victorious against those who deny or threaten her existence."
Rep. Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis is a native Floridian with blue collar roots who knows the value of hard work. He grew up in Dunedin, FL and worked his way through Yale University, where he graduated magna cum laude and was the captain of the varsity baseball team. He also graduated with honors from Harvard Law School.
While studying at Harvard he earned a commission as a JAG officer in the United States Navy. During his naval service, he deployed to Iraq during the 2007 troop surge as an advisor to a U.S. Navy SEAL commander in support of the SEAL mission in Iraq and also served at the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (meritorious service), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (gold star in lieu of second award), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal. He is currently a Lieutenant Commander in the reserve component of the United States Navy.
Ron has also served as both a federal and military prosecutor, prosecuting a wide range of cases including child exploitation, theft of sensitive military property, corruption and child abuse.
Since joining Congress in 2013, Ron has been a leader on issues ranging from government accountability, fiscal responsibility, national security and the Constitution. He has helped spearhead efforts to investigate the misdeeds of the IRS, reform the VA, enact term limits, balance the budget and make members of Congress live under the same rules as everybody else. As the chairman of the National Security subcommittee and as a member of the foreign affairs committee, he is deeply engaged in developing policies to combat foreign threats, to support key allies and to fully equip and train our military.
Ron lives in Marineland, FL with his wife Casey, an Emmy award-winning television host, and their baby daughter Madison.
Rep. Juan Vargas
ongressman Juan Vargas was raised on a chicken ranch in National City, in California's 51st District. He is one of ten children, born to his parents, Tomas and Celina Vargas on March 7, 1961. His father, Tomas, immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the late 1940s as part of the Bracero Program which brought millions of Mexican guest workers to the United States on short-term, primarily agricultural labor contracts, as part of a series of bi-lateral agreements between Mexico and the United States. Through the Bracero Program, Tomas became a legal resident and Juan's mother, Celina, went on to earn her U.S. Citizenship.Taught the value of hard work by his parents, Juan attained impressive academic credentials. He attended the University of San Diego on scholarship, graduated Magna Cum Laude receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1983. In 1987, Juan earned a Master of Humanities from Fordham University in New York City and in 1991 earned a Juris Doctorate