An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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Over the past week, we’ve seen a whirlwind of activity both in Washington and Israel. These events remind us of the vital importance of ensuring our voice is heard loud and clear in our nation’s capital.

Hezbollah Attack

On Monday morning, the Israeli military announced that it had repelled an attack by Hezbollah. A group of terrorists attempted to infiltrate Israel along the Lebanese-Israeli border in the Shebaa Farms area but were rapidly engaged by the IDF and pushed back into Lebanon. Since the attempt, Israel has been on high alert, increasing intelligence and other military assets in area anticipating possible additional attacks by the terrorist-army.

In a Monday press briefing, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted, “Hezbollah and Lebanon bear full responsibility for this incident and for any attack that comes out of Lebanese territory against Israel.”

At the same briefing, Israel’s Defense Minister Benjamin Gantz said, “Anyone who dares to test the power of the IDF will endanger himself and the country from which he operates.”

Congressional Failure on Lebanon

Beirut and Washington should heed Netanyahu’s message. It’s less likely this attack would have been possible but for the utter failure of the US-backed Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to reign in Hezbollah and exercise control over their territory. Unfortunately, the LAF seems content to enable Hezbollah, and certain powers in the US government seem content with the status quo.

Entrenched parties in the Departments of State and Defense, as well as their allies in Congress, have continuously thwarted efforts to condition even a portion of US aid to the LAF on the Lebanese military taking steps to counter Hezbollah. Just this past week we saw multiple efforts to hold the LAF accountable, including amendments to the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill and one standalone piece of legislation, killed or gutted by House leadership.

Congressional Victories on Multiple Fronts

Despite this continued battle, we were pleased to see significant movement on all three pieces of legislation CUFI lobbied in support of during the 2020 Summit. Both chambers of Congress have passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and while the House and Senate versions are different, each has elements we support.

Of particular note is the inclusion of the US-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act and the US-Israel Military Capability Act in the Senate version of the bill. The Action Fund has already gotten to work ensuring that all the pro-Israel provisions in both the House and Senate versions of the NDAA are included in the final bill after it works its way through the conference committee process.

Finally, this past week we also saw the movement on the Fiscal Year 2021 State-Foreign Operations Bill. This legislation passed the House and included $3.3 billion of military assistance for Israel. We look forward to this legislation moving forward through the Senate in September, and are confident that the bill, including unconditional military aid to Israel, will land on the President’s desk in the fall.

Despite a deeply divided Washington, the Action Fund has seen victories on multiple fronts, and far more rapidly than what has become standard in our often-gridlocked capital. While we are of course pleased with the progress we’ve made, there is much work to be done. And America’s Christian Zionists can rest assured, we’ll rise to tomorrow’s challenges just as we have at every other turn.


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