An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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This week’s Action Update could easily be dubbed the good news, bad news edition. Across the Middle East we saw truly historic events – some that fill us with joy, others that cause us to shake our heads in utter disappointment. But let’s start with the good news.

UAE-Israel Normalization

As anyone who even casually watches events in the Middle East is aware, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel have agreed to normalize ties. The normalization of ties will include a series of bilateral agreements encompassing economic, energy, healthcare and other key issues along with the establishment of reciprocal embassies.

The CUFI Action Fund exuberantly welcomed this news with our Chairwoman, Sandra Parker, noting, “Israel is always willing to make peace, and our elected officials in Congress should bear that in mind as they consider policies that impact the US-Israel relationship. It is our fervent hope that this historic announcement will pave the way for other countries who should have no quarrel with Israel to normalize ties with the Jewish state.”

Back in late June, CUFI founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee called for exactly this normalization of relations in an interview with the Jerusalem Post when he said, “The Gulf states, who are claiming that Israeli ‘annexation’ would lead to an end to their not-so-secret relations with Israel, ought to put their requests in a positive light. Rather than threaten to walk away, they should publicly and formally offer normalization of ties between the broader Arab world and Israel if Israel gives the Palestinians a set period of time to return to the negotiating table in good faith.”

Since the announcement, we’ve seen predictable reactions from the Palestinian Authority, Iran, and allegedly pro-Palestinian activists in the US, all of whom panned the historic event. Sadly, one might be forgiven for believing these entities and groups are singularly focused on Israel’s destruction rather than an end to hostilities in the region.

In stark contrast, we’ve seen positive reactions from countries elected officials from both parties and countries such as Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, and Sudan. Moreover, news reports justify a bit of optimism that the UAE-Israel normalization is the just beginning of a fundamental shift in Arab-Israel relations. It’s becoming undeniably clear that each day Arab leaders grow more impatient with perennial Palestinian rejectionism. Such bodes well for the future of the region.

Iran Gets to Buy More Bombs (Maybe)

Late last week, the UN Security Council, in what may go down as one of the most cowardly moments in diplomatic history, voted 2-2-11 on extending the UN arms embargo – set to expire in October – against Iran. The two countries supporting the measure were the United States and the Dominican Republic. Russia and China voted against the measure, and eleven countries, including the UK, France and Germany, all abstained.

President Trump has floated the idea of invoking the “snapback” provision of the Iran nuclear accord that would reimpose key UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The CUFI Action Fund, which recognizes that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, would support invoking the snapback provision of the agreement.

Hezbollah Gets Away with Murder

In what may go down as one of the most cowardly moments in international judiciary history, a UN-backed tribunal acquitted three members of Hezbollah for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 other innocent people. One member of Hezbollah, Salim Ayyash, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. Despite this, according to the BBC, the court found “no evidence that Hezbollah's leadership nor one of its patron's, Syria, were implicated in the attack.” A conclusion which seems detached from reality. 

The people of Iran, Lebanon, and the greater Middle East have suffered enough. The UN has betrayed them. Save the United States, the great powers are either directly supporting or at a minimum aiding and abetting their chief tormentor: Tehran. Cowardice reigns supreme on much of the world’s stage. But there are bright spots. Yes, much of the world’s leadership is made up Chamberlains but there are Churchills as well. And if the UAE and Israel can make peace, this proves that tolerance, open-mindedness and courage can still win the day.


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