Nearly 250 years ago this week, the founding fathers of our great nation declared independence from a monarch living an ocean away. As we all know, what followed was the tragic sacrifice of thousands of Americans on the altar of freedom.

None of us would enjoy the liberty that has become so central to our existence and identity without those brave and selfless men and women who have kept tyranny and terror at bay for nearly two-and-a-half centuries. But the battle is far from over. Freedom must be protected, every day, all the time.

A “Refuge” for Terrorists

The Israelis have endured a spike of terror attacks in recent months emanating from Jenin – one of the most violent Palestinian-controlled cities in the disputed territories. More than two dozen innocent people have been killed, with many more wounded since the beginning of the year. For some weeks, there have been rumors and discussions of an Israeli military operation to dramatically degrade the terrorist infrastructure in and around Jenin. And now, that operation has come to pass.

Earlier this week, the IDF launched the largest operation they’ve executed in Judea and Samaria in 20 years. One thousandtroops, backed up by aircraft, engaged in the large-scale raid aimed at, “end[ing] Jenin’s role as a ‘city of refuge’ for terror,” according to a senior Israeli government official.

The raid concluded two days after it began with the Israelis having achieved their goals. According to reports, the IDF was able to destroy numerous elements of the terrorist infrastructure in Jenin including weapon storage facilities and bomb-making labs. Eighteen terrorists were neutralized during the raid, yet, despite the challenges of urban combat, not a single civilian was killed. Tragically, one Israeli soldier, 23-year-old Sgt. First Class David Yehuda Yitzhak (of blessed memory) made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of his nation during the operation.

It’s worth noting, considering how the media and Israel-haters have already begun to spin these events, that from the outset the Israelis made unequivocally clear that Jerusalem is uninterested in ruling over the Palestinians of Jenin. This operation wasn’t about controlling territory; it was about rooting out terror and ensuring Iran’s efforts to encircle Israel via proxy terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanon, Judea, and Samaria fail.

Moreover, while we’ve had our issues with the Biden administration’s approach to the Middle East, even the White House has said that they stand with Israel’s actions, releasing a statement that noted in part, “We support Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist organizations.”

Europe Ends (some) Appeasement of Iran

According to the Iran Deal, in October of this year, sanctions are supposed to expire on the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program. The entire situation is, at this point, rather absurd since Iran has never abided by the agreement, the U.S. pulled out of the agreement, and Russia, Iran, and China (all parties to the agreement) are all working – sometimes together, sometimes not – to undermine the foundations of democratic nations.

Nonetheless, our European friends have clung to the agreement, continuing to afford Iran all the privileges the agreement bestowed upon the world’s leading sponsor of terror. That is, until now. Reports indicate that at long last, our friends in London and other European capitals are finally going to “breach” the agreement – if one can so abuse the term – and will not remove their sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program.

This is a positive development, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Iran will still work with Russia, China, and North Korea, to develop, acquire and sell weapons, including ballistic missile development. But at least now there is a glimmer of hope that the West won’t be subsidizing Iran’s efforts.


Speaking of Iran, we wanted to share a bit about a piece of legislation that we support and is increasingly relevant in light of Iran’s malign actions. According to the bill’s bipartisan and bicameral sponsors, the Stop Harboring Iranian Petroleum (SHIP) Act, “would sanction illicit purchases of Iranian oil and hold the regime’s enablers accountable.”

Unsurprisingly China, among others, has been processing and refining over one million barrels of Iranian oil per day. The SHIP Act will be an important part of the effort to go after those aiding and abetting Iran’s efforts to avoid sanctions and sell oil to fund both terror and the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

According to Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), “The SHIP Act will unequivocally sink Iran’s aspirations of regional dominance and poke holes in their trade relationships. This legislation should serve as a warning shot across the bow for Iran and China and I am hopeful that every member of Congress will show support for this commonsense measure.”

We welcome Rep. Lawler’s comments and will be listening very closely when he addresses attendees at the CUFI Summit on July 17-18. Likewise, we’ll be very interested to hear what Amb. Haley, VP Pence, and Gov. DeSantis, as well as the other elected officials and leaders speaking at Summit, will have to share about the situation in the region, and how we (and they) can best ensure the strength and longevity of the U.S. – Israel relationship. We hope to see you there.


The CUFI Action Fund Team


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