One of the most important elements of our work is the intake of information. Our work product, from legislation and policy documents to your weekly Action Update, is the final element of our labors. This week, three sentences in the articles we read stuck out.

Iran’s Done Talking
“We will not be going to Vienna for new negotiations but to finalize the nuclear agreement,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday. Wait... What? No more negotiations, just finalizing an agreement?

The Biden Administration has heard from Arabs, Israelis, and Members of Congress that it would be unconscionable to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (an Iranian demand). Team Biden has also heard from the same group that a bad deal is in no one’s interest (save Iran’s).

Yes, the Biden Administration appears to have acquiesced to Russia’s demand that Moscow continue to be able to engage economically in Iran, thus circumventing western sanctions, despite the former committing atrocities in Ukraine and the latter being the world’s leading sponsor of terror. But, certainly, there’s more to discuss. Or perhaps the Biden Administration finally abandoned all pretense of negotiation and finally acknowledged that its entire strategy (if we can so abuse the word) revolves around a deal at all costs. Such capitulation will only ensure greater conflict in the region.

We intend to ensure Congress does whatever possible to keep the Biden Administration’s worst instincts from becoming American policy.

Turkey’s Charm Offensive
The Jerusalem Post recently reported, “Turkey has been a strong advocate of the Palestinians and has not condemned terror attacks against Israelis very often.” This is quite true. So, you may do a doubletake when you hear that Turkey actually condemned the recent terror spree that took place in Israel. Likewise, you might be confused to learn that the President of Israel traveled to Turkey a few weeks ago while Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in an interview to the press in his Istanbul office that he was “ready for war” with the Jewish state.
Don’t be confused, Turkey is playing a double game. We’ve seen this particular dog and pony show before. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s autocratic President, is going on a charm offensive in an effort to demonstrate – albeit falsely – that Turkey is rebuilding itself as a major international player. But actions speak louder than words, and Turkey still hasn’t given up its Russian made S-400 missiles and continues to play host to Hamas terrorist leaders.

The bottom line is that with a new round of elections in 2023, Erdogan wants to stay in power and, as such, is playing with the world the way any abusive, malignant person plays with those around them: he does bad things and then expects to be rewarded when he takes a respite from engaging in evil. We’re not fooled by any of this, and you shouldn’t be either. If Erdogan wants to improve Turkish relations with the west and help his country thrive in an increasingly hostile world, he should end his country’s association with the world’s worst actors, end his term in office and allow free and fair elections. We’re not holding our breath, and when this charm offensive ends, we’ll be out front in working to counter Ankara’s wannabe sultan’s illicit behavior.

Hijacking Diversity Equity and Inclusion
Our friends at the Louis D. Brandeis Center recently drafted a complaint against Stanford University which, according to reports, alleges that “Stanford’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program has advanced antisemitic tropes concerning Jewish power, conspiracy and control.” Andrea Lucas of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission referred to the allegations as, “deeply troubling.”

While we welcome Lucas’s honest statement, if you’ll permit us, we’re going to go a step further. Far-left antisemites likes to wrap themselves in the lexicon of civil rights. That’s been the case for years. The ground was laid here by the pro-BDS community which enjoys demonizing Israel by abusing language associated with anti-racist or pro-social justice movements. Now, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) movement is being hijacked by antisemites and – since obviously nothing is sacred to these people – they’re focusing much of their fire on American college campuses. So, what to do?

The answer is to normalize the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism because it doesn’t actually matter if you call yourself a social justice warrior, a DEI advocate, or just a plain old liberal, there is nothing just, inclusive or liberal about being an antisemite. If there is widespread acceptance of the definition – which we are more than well on our way to achieving – all the fig leaves in the world will not hide the rotten bigotry of America’s fringe-left antisemites.

Spring is in the air so Congress is going to be doing everything it can to wrap up a few items and head home from Washington. But we’re not going anywhere. We’ll still be here in our nation’s capital, fighting for the cause we all believe in and seeking to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship. As always, thank you for taking the time to stay informed. We’ll see you next week.

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