An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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In this week’s Action Update, we’ll be covering a wide range of issues. Despite the worldwide pandemic, from Washington to Baghdad, Israel’s detractors and America’s enemies have not changed their stripes. The threats are still there, and it is vital we address them.

Member Spotlight: Rep. Ilhan Omar

To even the casual political observer, Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) bombastic record is perplexing. Americans eschew bigotry, yet Omar has put her anti-Semitism on full display. In fact, her invocation of old anti-Semitic tropes concerning Jewish power and money led her to receive praise from former Ku Klux Klan “Grand Wizard” David Duke.

Mind you, she doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. Omar was one of just 17 House members who voted against a resolution opposing the anti-Semitic BDS movement. And she even went so far as to introduce a resolution defending boycotts of Israel by comparing boycotts of the Jewish state to boycotts of Nazi Germany.

Omar’s jaw-dropping approach to policy doesn’t end with her disdain for the Jewish people. For example, back when she was just a State Representative, Omar met with the radical Islamist President of Turkey, Recep Tayip Erodgan. And again, backing her words up with actions, once she got to Congress she joined just 15 of her colleagues in opposing the Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act (HR 4695).

Meet the Challengers

Omar’s relatively unique approach to policy has drawn a fair amount of opposition. And presently, both parties have strong contenders seeking to unseat her. Omar’s leading Democratic primary challenger is Aontone Melton-Meaux. He’s a lawyer who worked for St. Jude Medical and started his own mediation practice.

On Israel, Melton-Meaux wrote, “It is vital to the national interests of both Israel and the United States that our two countries continue to be collaborative allies.” In addition, he’s expressed opposition to the aforementioned anti-Semitic BDS movement and backs sanctions against Iran.

Speaking directly about his infamous opponent Melton-Meaux wrote, “Omar has repeatedly made divisive statements that have been hurtful to members of our Jewish community. She creates distraction and drama, not results. That doesn’t work for us.”

On the Republican side, the leading candidate is Dalia al-Aqidi. She’s an Iraqi-born immigrant who has worked as a correspondent for Voice of America and worked with the Multi-National Security Transition Command in Baghdad to help develop media in that country.

On the issues, she’s expressed opposition to BDS and has expressed support for sanctions on Iran.

Regarding Rep. Omar, she said in a January interview, “We don’t know what’s in someone’s heart. We can only tell what they say and how they behave. And, of course, nearly everything [Omar] says about Israel or American Jews who support Israel is laced with contempt, hatred and anti-Semitism.”

Quick note: We’re not endorsing anyone – just reporting the facts.

Iron Dome in Iraq

Earlier this month, Representatives Grace Meng and Joe Wilson led a bipartisan House letter requesting the Defense Department provide a “deployment plan” for the first two Iron Dome batteries to be deployed in Iraq, an update on efforts to integrate the missile defense system with US Army systems, and ideas for more rapid integration of Iron Dome to protect US troops.

This issue has been closely monitored by the CUFI Action Fund, and we’ve been in direct communications with the leaders in this matter. The Action Fund feels strongly that our troops need to be protected from Iran and its proxies, and the best way to do that in the context of missile defense is to rapidly deploy the Israeli-made Iron Dome batteries at key locations in Iraq.

As the letter, which was signed by members of the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security Committees noted, “A series of rocket attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in just the last month indicate that state-supported militias can increasingly overcome or avoid current U.S. air defense systems… If we do not address this threat now, we fear the consequences will be even more severe.”

The Action Fund will continue to monitor the effort to see our troops fully protected and lend our voice to these efforts.

CUFI Virtual Summit

As you likely know, CUFI recently announced that it will be holding its 2020 Summit virtually. This decision was made after the Washington Convention Center notified CUFI that the Center is being turned into a hospital in order to address potential needs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the press release announcing CUFI’s decision, the organization’s founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee noted, “We have said from the very beginning of this pandemic that the safety and well-being of our members, staff, and the community at large is our top priority. By holding our summit virtually, we will ensure the health and safety of all participants, and still ensure our members hear directly from top leaders and experts on the issues that matter to CUFI.”

Also in the announcement, CUFI’s Co-Executive Director added, “In the coming days we’ll be releasing the schedule of our virtual Summit, concluding, as always, with a digital advocacy effort aimed at advancing specific pro-Israel policies.”

CUFI is committed to adapting to the present circumstances while ensuring the collective voice of our organization’s 8 million members are heard by elected officials. As Action Fund supporters, we hope you’ll join CUFI for its virtual Summit and will keep an eye out for CUFI’s June 30th Action Alert through which you’ll be able to communicate with Members of Congress about the issues that matter to America’s Christian Zionist community.

In the meantime, we’ll keep you updated on the Summit’s details as they are announced, and will ensure that Action Update readers remain informed about what’s going on in Washington, Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East.


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