Regular readers of the Action Update know that Iran’s support for terror is so prevalent that it’s hardly even newsworthy anymore. The same goes for the Islamic Republic’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. And sadly, the international community’s weakness in the face of Iranian belligerence hardly warrants a headline these days. But sometimes, the sum of events is greater than the whole of its parts. And over the past week, all of these appalling realities have come into stark relief.
A return to the old nuclear deal is a non-starter, writes CUFI’s policy head: Any agreement with the Tehran regime must be comprehensive, bipartisan and durable. And Biden’s team must be willing to walk away.
Upon taking office, President-elect Joe Biden will be greeted with a Middle East very different from the one he may recall from his days in the White House. Nowhere are these changes more apparent and more important than in the effort to curb Iran’s regional ambitions.
This week’s Action Update is being written just hours after CUFI’s founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee, the CUFI Action Fund’s Chairwoman Sandra Parker, and several other CUFI staff were at the White House witnessing leaders from Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signing peace agreements. History is being made, and we’re in the midst of it.
The Mediterranean Sea comprises nearly 1 million square miles of pristine blue waters. Whether you’re sitting on a beach in Tel Aviv or lounging on a coastal Greek balcony, the view is of a magnificent, awe-inspiring expanse, – unless of course you’re Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Edorgan. All he sees is a battlefield. In this week’s Action Update we’re going to go around the Med, starting with the ravings of Turkey’s strongman President and then turning our attention to the latest out of Lebanon.
Earlier this week it was reported that the French Minister of the Armed Forces, said, “Hezbollah is a legitimate political party.” In this week’s Action Update we’ll discuss recent events in Lebanon (spoiler alert: the French are wrong), as well the latest progress to normalize relations between the UAE and Israel.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the Middle East this week, where he is meeting with leaders in Israel as well as several Arab countries in the hopes of replicating the normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, expressed optimism in in an interview stating that we would soon see other Arab countries choose to join the growing coalition of countries abandoning unnecessary quarrels with the Jewish state and choosing instead to focus on peace and prosperity in the region.
This week’s Action Update could easily be dubbed the good news, bad news edition. Across the Middle East we saw truly historic events – some that fill us with joy, others that cause us to shake our heads in utter disappointment. But let’s start with the good news.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2020
CUFI Action Fund
Tel: (404) 898-1278
WASHINGTON – On Thursday, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization, welcomed the announcement that Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would be normalizing ties.
“This is an historic announcement. We consistently pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and today those prayers were answered in a big way. In the context of the discussion about extending Israeli sovereignty to portions of Judea and Samaria, we made clear in late June that this is precisely what the Gulf states should do, and we hope other Arab nations will follow the UAE’s lead. CUFI backs the decisions of the democratically elected Government of Israel, including the decision to suspend sovereignty extension plans in this context,” said CUFI founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee.
“This proves yet again that when Israel’s Arab neighbors are prepared to make peace with the Jewish state, Israel will always be there to meet them,” Hagee added.
Directly before CUFI’s 2020 Washington Summit, Hagee gave an interview to The Jerusalem Post in which he noted, “The Gulf states, who are claiming that Israeli ‘annexation’ would lead to an end to their not-so-secret relations with Israel, ought to put their requests in a positive light. Rather than threaten to walk away, they should publicly and formally offer normalization of ties between the broader Arab world and Israel if Israel gives the Palestinians a set period of time to return to the negotiating table in good faith.”
“Israel is always willing to make peace, and our elected officials in Congress should bear that in mind as they consider policies that impact the US-Israel relationship. It is our fervent hope that this historic announcement will pave the way for other countries who should have no quarrel with Israel to normalize ties with the Jewish state,” said CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker.
With more than 8.5 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.
As we were sitting down to write last week’s Action Update, news was just coming out about the blast in Beirut. This week, we’ll share what’s been reported, and what we feel must come in the wake of this horrific tragedy. In addition, we’ll look at broader nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. The common denominator in all these troubling events is, unsurprisingly, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
We often discuss the US-Israel relationship in very high-minded and spiritual terms because we are, after all, the CHRISTIANS United for Israel Action Fund. This foundation of shared values is deep and strong, but some on Capitol Hill, view the world differently then we. However, that doesn’t mean that those with a different approach to foreign policy should place less tangible value on the alliance between America and Israel. Regardless of how one views the alliance, we should always remember that we share values, goals, defenses, and yes, enemies.