Welcome to 2023. We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a great New Year. Over the past few months, we’ve been preparing for the changes set to take place in Washington and around the world. In today’s Action Update, we’ll let you know what’s going on and what we’re looking at in the coming weeks, months and year.

New Governments

Just days before we rang in the New Year, a peaceful transfer of power took place in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu has returned as Israel’s Prime Minister. In his statement marking Netanyahu’s swearing-in, President Biden said, “I look forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been my friend for decades, to jointly address the many challenges and opportunities facing Israel and the Middle East region, including threats from Iran. The United States is working to promote a region that’s increasingly integrated, prosperous, and secure, with benefits for all of its people.”

In addition to the changeover in power in Jerusalem, we have a new Congress in Washington. Republicans will now control the House of Representatives (by a slim majority) and the Democrats will control the Senate (by a slim majority).

In the coming year, CUFI will be heavily focused on combatting the movement to Boycott, Divest from and Sanction (BDS) Israel. We will also be working to ensure that the U.S. government bolsters Israel’s means to defend itself from the ever-increasing threats to the Jewish state’s existence, and we will be focusing particular emphasis on the Iranian threat, including the Islamic Republic’s growing alliances with Russia and China.

At the state level, we will likewise continue efforts to combat the BDS movement and expand our efforts to enhance Holocaust education.

From the makeup of Congress to the importance of achieving results regardless of who is in power, all our efforts require bipartisan cooperation. The mid-term elections are over; it’s time to govern and to do so responsibly.

Looking Ahead

The coming year will present serious challenges that must be addressed. At the tale end of 2022, the UN General Assembly once again went after Israel. This time, they’ve refereed Israel to the International Court of Justice – to which neither the U.S. nor Israel are signatories.

Setting aside the fact that many of the countries who voted in support of this disgusting move are actual occupiers and human rights abusers (Russia anyone?), this move reminds us that defending Israel in the international arena is an ongoing battle. Our elected officials in Washington must do everything (not a few things, not a little here and there…) in their power to address the UN’s latest anti-Israel broadside. And they should do this if not because it’s the right thing to do, at least because if the ICJ can harm Israel, they can harm the U.S.

We also plan to work to convince Washington to more vigorously address Iran’s malevolence. Presently, the Islamic Republic is in the throes of months-long protests against Tehran’s tyrannical regime. The Iranian economy is, as one writer put it, in “free fall,” but that’s not enough. The Iranian leadership is making common cause with Russia and China, even selling weapons to Russia, which Moscow is using to rain terror down on the innocent people of Ukraine. 2023 should be the year in which the rulers of Tehran are brought to their knees. It’s up to the Iranian people to do it, but it’s up to the free world to enable and empower these brave revolutionaries.

Finally, we’d like to end with a bit of good news. The state of the U.S.-Israel relationship is strong. On New Year’s Day, the U.S. deployed six F-15 fighter jets to Israel for joint drills with elements of the Israeli Air Force. This is what allies do. They support each other, they work together, and they train together. Such cooperation achieves two goals: first and foremost, it better enables both nations to be ready for whatever evil comes our way. And second, it sends a clear and resounding message to our shared enemies that neither the U.S. nor Israel will be intimidated.

Next week, we’ll be back with more in-depth analysis of many of the issues discussed above. In the meantime, that you for being the most important part of the CUFI Action Fund. May your 2023 be blessed.


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