We start this week with the unwelcome but not-so-surprising news that hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money is being sent to one of the of the UN’s worst programs. We also thought it worth mentioning that there is a real fear that the Biden administration is sadly slipping back into its old habits when it comes to Iran. Finally, we wrap things up by bringing you news of yet another state legislative victory.
In this week’s Update we are pleased to open with some tremendous success on the state front. We’ll then delve into some recent events in the Middle East. And finally, we take a moment to reflect on the commemoration and celebration that Israelis are engaged in this week.
In this week’s Update, we focus on a core issue with the Biden administration’s approach to foreign policy: their failure to back up words with actions. This failure stretches into a number of arenas with which Israel’s supporters are concerned, but this week we’ll focus on Team Biden’s interactions with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
In recent weeks, the Update has been largely focused on events in Washington and state capitals around the country. This week, we broaden our view a bit and go from Washington to Ramallah, and from Tehran to Beijing, as we bring you the latest information relevant to Israel’s supporters across the country.
Welcome back to Washington. We hope you enjoyed your time with your families, and we’re grateful to those of you who returned a little earlier than expected to ensure the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act became law. With the 117th Congress now sworn in, feel free to forward The Update to your new colleagues so they too can hear from the Washington arm of the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization.
merican-Turkish relations have been in a steady decline for the better part of the last decade in large part because Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have found new and creative ways to undercut the relationship. Without a major change in Turkish behavior, the relationship will only get rockier.
As the year winds down, we have taken stock of what we’ve accomplished and what we are focusing on in the year to come. It’s beyond cliché to say that 2020 has been a year replete with challenges, but for Israel and for the Action Fund, the news wasn’t all bad. With the help of America’s leadership, the Israelis have normalized relations with no less than five countries in recent months, with Morocco and Bhutan joining the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, just last week. And for the Action Fund, we’ve seen a host of our top priorities move forward.
President Trump Urged To Sign Bill Without Delay
WASHINGTON – On Friday, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization, released a statement applauding passage of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and welcoming key provisions in the bill that were among CUFI’s top legislative priorities in the 116th Congress.
The bill includes the US-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act (Sec 1271-1280B) and the establishment of United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group (section 1299M). These two policies comprised two of the three legislative agenda items for which CUFI members lobbied their elected officials during the group’s 2020 Virtual Summit.
“CUFI members sent more than 300,000 emails to elected officials during our 2020 Summit. I’m extremely pleased to see that as a result, the US-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act and the US-Israel Military Capability Act will become the law of the land once this legislation is signed by the President,” said CUFI founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee.
“This success, on the heels of our seeing the Never Again Education Act signed into law, shows that when a group of Americans devote themselves to a cause and communicate directly with elected officials, progress can be made even in a divided Washington,” Hagee added.
Additional CUFI-backed items in the NDAA include support for the Iron Dome defense system and co-development and co-production of the Israeli cooperative missile defense program (section 1649), a mandate that the White House sanction Turkey for Ankara’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system (Sec 1241), and an anti-money laundering provision that will have a direct, negative impact on terrorist organizations.
“The final NDAA is a product of bipartisan cooperation and a wide range of groups coming together to advance common goals and enhance American national security interests. It is refreshing to see Congress set aside its partisan differences to advance this vital legislation. We strongly support this bill being signed into law,” said CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker.
With more than 9.5 million members, Christians United for Israel is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world. CUFI spans all fifty states and reaches millions with its educational message.
The CUFI Action Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)(4), nonpartisan organization, is related to the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI). The Action Fund is dedicated to ensuring our elected officials hear the perspective of the millions of Christian Zionists across the country.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We expect the Senate to take up the bill shortly. This legislation contains several provisions of significance to the US-Israel relationship and we strongly support it being signed into law once Congress sends it to the President’s desk.
Over the past week, for better or worse, a lot people’s true colors concerning Israel and the Middle East have been exposed. To her credit, we saw a former US Ambassador to the UN seek to highlight a vital issue President Trump can resolve with the stroke of a pen; to their shame we are seeing members of the Department of Defense continue to ignore a key Congressional mandate; and to our dismay we saw conspiracy theories inundate the discussion about the assassination of a top Iranian general.