The focus of this week’s CUFI Action Update is going to touch on a different aspect of our work. While the Action Fund does not engage in electioneering, and we see most Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle as generally open to hearing our arguments in support of a strong US-Israel relationship, even when we disagree with an elected official on one issue we can often find common ground elsewhere. In the rarest of circumstances, certain elected officials seem committed to opposing every element of the CUFI agenda. When that happens, we want to be sure that you have the public record available to you.
Amid President Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against Tehran, a group of policymakers is seeking to undermine his efforts altogether and instead appease the leading state sponsor of terrorism.
Some politicians, such as Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, continue to assert, wrongly, that it was a mistake to pull out of the Iran agreement. They condemn the Trump administration for killing Qassem Soleimani, and they seek to tie Trump’s hands in his efforts to protect the United States and our allies. Most importantly, they have been categorically wrong about the president’s interest in going to war.
This week, as the Action Fund Team continues our efforts to advance policy through virtual interactions, we saw some positive developments in the US-Israel relationship and even one coming out of Lebanon. Unfortunately, as this crisis brings out the best in our communities and our country, it seems to have brought out the worst in Tehran – despite the Islamic Republic being ravaged by the pandemic spreading across the world.
As everyone is well aware, this week’s Action Update comes amidst a significant change in our daily interactions as Americans. Washington is largely physically shutdown, but that does not mean our work ceases. We’re taking full advantage of the 21st century technologies at our disposal to ensure that our message is heard by our elected officials.
Over the past week, a significant amount has transpired on several issues on which the CUFI Action Fund Team focuses. We saw additional support and momentum building behind the Never Again Education Act in the Senate, progress in efforts to further isolate the regime in Iran, and our team members met with senior Washington officials concerning the current situation in Lebanon.
We began this fight because sadly, Americans know far too little about the Holocaust and the consequences are touching communities across the country. Most states don’t require Holocaust education, leaving students – and sometimes teachers and administrators – painfully unaware of what happened to the Jewish people and other minorities under the Nazi regime. Shocking levels of ignorance have put communities at risk, but Congress is well on its way to fighting back.
This week in Washington the CUFI Action Fund saw a flurry of activity on issues ranging from the fight against anti-Semitism to the continued expansion of President Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran.
During the past week, we saw another flare up along the Gaza-Israel border with approximately 80 rockets fired into Israel by terrorists affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The skirmish began last Wednesday, when Israeli soldiers were fired upon by a PIJ sniper cell and the IDF returned fire. This was followed, on Sunday, by a PIJ attempt to plant an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) alongside the security fence separating Gaza and Israel. Again, the terrorist plot was foiled by the IDF.
Over the past week, the CUFI Action Fund has been monitoring and responding to events both heartening and troubling. From developments regarding President Trump’s Middle East peace proposal, to revelations that a sitting US Senator met secretly with Iran’s foreign minister, the week’s news reminds us of the importance of ensuring CUFI’s voice is heard each-and-every day in Washington.
This week’s update comes to you from San Antonio, where CUFI has just wrapped up its largest Leadership Summit ever. Attendees at the event heard from a host of experts like the Foundation for Defense of Democracy’s Jonathen Schanzer and Lt. Col. Eyal Dror (IDF res.) as well as dignitaries like the State Department’s Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism Elan Carr and Ambassador of Israel to the US Ron Dermer.