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.
When President Trump unveiled his much anticipated proposal for peace in the Middle East, he noted in his remarks, “As everyone knows, I have done a lot for Israel: moving the United States Embassy to Jerusalem; recognizing the Golan Heights and, frankly, perhaps most importantly, getting out of the terrible Iran nuclear deal [emphasis added].”
This week, tens of thousands of Americans tuned into to the 2020 Virtual Summit. We were thrilled to hear from a host of top leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, ambassadors David Friedman, Ron Dermer and Nikki Haley, and more than a half-dozen Members of Congress representing both parties.
Beginning on Sunday, Christians United for Israel will be holding its annual summit – albeit virtually. Announced speakers include Secretary of State Pompeo, Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Rivlin, Ambassadors Friedman and Dermer, Senators Blackburn, Cotton, Cruz, Lankford, Rosen, Rubio, and Scott, Rep. Crenshaw, and many more government officials and subject matter experts. If you have not already done so, please visit CUFI.org to register for this important event.
One of the cornerstones of the US-Israel relationship is that with American support, Israel can acquire the most advanced means in which to defend itself. American aid enables Israel to maintain a qualitative military edge in a turbulent region. While not all American politicians agree with all Israeli actions all of the time, outside of the most fringe elected officials, there is widespread consensus that it is in America’s interest to ensure Israel has the ability to keep enemies like Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran at bay. In addition to being in our national security interest, standing with the leading democracy in the Middle East is the right thing to do.