As no doubt many of our readers and supporters are aware, CUFI returned to the nation’s capital last week for the first CUFI Washington Summit since the Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from doing so. We covered our legislative agenda in last week’s Action Update, so this week we thought we’d highlight some of the most notable moments from the Summit along with developments on the Iranian and Palestinian fronts.

Notable and Quotable

The pro-Israel and political communities were abuzz last week after former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley delivered a clear and unambiguous quote about what she thinks of any Iran deal signed by President Biden when she said from our stage, “No deal is better than a bad deal. And if this president signs any sort of deal, I'll make you a promise. The next president will shred it on her first day in office.”

Haley’s assessment of Biden’s approach to Iran was echoed by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), both of whom spoke during the CUFI Summit. Cotton concisely summed up numerous elected officials’ attitude towards Biden’s dealings with Iran when he said, “Joe Biden is sitting down and negotiating with and trying to give away the farm to the ayatollahs.” We wish Cotton was wrong, but he isn’t.

One of the most memorable panels during the Summit came when Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and James Lankford (R-OK), joined CUFI Action Chairwoman Sandra Parker on stage for a discussion about combating antisemitism. The two Senators are the co-chairs of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, and they delivered a powerful and united message on the importance of combating the world’s oldest hatred.

“Antisemitism is on the rise worldwide. Unfortunately, it's on the rise here in the United States, including on college campuses… it's a good time for us to be able to push back and to be able to say, we're the United States of America. We receive all people, of all places, of all faiths or of no faith,” Lankford said.

The Forever Talks

As indicated above, a host of speakers at the CUFI Summit expressed strong concerns about the current state of Iran’s nuclear program and the associated U.S. policy. These concerns were amplified last week when the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency – not known for always having the courage to speak bluntly – said that Iran’s nuclear program was “galloping ahead,” and his agency really doesn’t know much about what Iran is doing.

Unfortunately, Victoria Nuland, the Biden administration’s undersecretary of state for political affairs, isn’t listening. During a recent interview with CNN, Nuland said, “The deal is sitting there on the table for the taking, if the Iranians want it.” Spoiler alert: they don’t want a deal. They want to drag out negotiations until they’ve achieved their nuclear ambitions. And while the Biden administration claims they won’t wait on Iran forever, we’ve seen no evidence that the administration intends to follow through on that promise.

In her interview, Nuland also noted, “They haven't walked away when they could have done that over these many months where the deal's been ready and sitting there. So, you know, let's see what happens.”

You know what? Let’s not just see what happens. Let’s not give Iran free rein. Let’s develop and implement a policy that will prevent Iran from achieving their desired result. Just a thought…

PA’s Own Policies Could Be Their End

It won’t be the Israelis that end the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) rule over PA controlled areas of the West Bank, just like it wasn’t the Israelis that ended the PA’s rule over Gaza. In Gaza it was Hamas, and in Judea and Samaria, it will be the PA’s own henchmen.

For years the PA has allowed their children to be taught rank antisemitism in schools, have ensured their young people are indoctrinated into the glorification of terrorism, and have been paying the poorest Palestinians to murder Israelis. In short, the PA has not just allowed but has actively supported instilling a culture of violence and hatred into the Palestinian national narrative.

As a result, in Nablus, Jenin and even parts of Ramallah, gunmen associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad increasingly have control of the streets. They aren’t taking orders from the PA, and they aren’t going to be satisfied with anything less than total control over increasing parts of those areas in the West Bank that are supposed to be administered by the PA.

If Israel is forced to contend with these terrorist-gangs, extremely violent confrontations will ensue – with some clashes already having taken place. While we’ve no doubt the international media will seek to blame Israel, the simple truth is that PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s rhetoric and policies have been igniting and pouring gas on these flames for over a decade. The result will be bad for him, bad for the average Palestinian, and bad for Israel.

With all this news it may seem like those who still hold out hope for regional peace and stability are delusional. But just a few years ago, peace between Israel and Arab nations in the region was likewise unthinkable. So, with that in mind, until next week, we’ll leave you with this quote from Israel’s first Prime Minister, David ben Gurion, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.”

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