ICYMI: CUFI’s Boris Zilberman Calls For U.S. To Stop “Treading Water” With Turkey

(11/08/2021) WASHINGTON – In a recent op-ed for Newsweek, Boris Zilberman, director of public policy and strategy for Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Action Fund, discussed the need for the Biden administration to increase the United States’ response to Turkey and outlines the threats to diplomacy and national security that Turkey poses.  

In his piece, Zilberman notes that Turkey has been “a source of bipartisan concern for the better part of the last decade,” saying that:

“Under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has undermined its relationship with the U.S. and the strength of NATO, earned U.S. sanctions for procuring the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system and scuttled its reputation as a Western democracy. The concern and negative attention toward Turkey is warranted, but its continued behavior shows that U.S. efforts have been insufficient. More needs to be done. Unfortunately, President Joe Biden’s approach to Turkey and general laissez-faire outlook to the region has Washington treading.

Congress remains “clear-eyed and focused on the threats emanating from Turkey” and has urged President Biden to “confront President Erdogan over his domestic crackdown against political opponents and civil society at large.” Zilberman argues that:

The Biden administration should make use of the tools afforded by Congress. It should target Ankara’s UAV sector, heavily condition any potential sale of U.S. F-16s and heed the counsel of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) to expand existing U.S. sanctions as punishment if Ankara moves forward with a second-round of deliveries of S-400s. If the White House does not respond, bipartisan and bicameral pressure on the administration will mount, just as it did in 2020 when the Trump administration was dragging its feet.”

Zilberman ends with a call to the Biden administration and Congress to stop “treading water”:

“Indispensable allies don’t behave like President Erdogan. Ankara’s antagonism far outweighs its pseudo-friendship. If the Biden administration wants to improve relations with Turkey, Flake will need to recognize Turkey as it is today, not as he wishes it to be, Congress will have to keep pushing back on Turkey’s bad behavior and President Biden will have to take personal ownership of a strategy to address the threats and challenges the so-called indispensable ally presents.”

To read Zilberman’s full opinion piece in Newsweek, CLICK HERE.

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.