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.
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.
Over the past week, we’ve seen a whirlwind of activity both in Washington and Israel. These events remind us of the vital importance of ensuring our voice is heard loud and clear in our nation’s capital.
On June 20th, the Department of Defense was mandated by law to report to Congress on the status of efforts of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to extricate Hezbollah from both its entrenched position in southern Lebanon and its infiltration of the US-backed Lebanese military. Sadly, June 20th came and went with no report.
This past week, we have seen a host of activity, including significant progress on our efforts to advance policy and impact the national conversation about Israel.