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An Update from CUFI Action Fund













Over the past week, for better or worse, a lot people’s true colors concerning Israel and the Middle East have been exposed. To her credit, we saw a former US Ambassador to the UN seek to highlight a vital issue President Trump can resolve with the stroke of a pen; to their shame we are seeing members of the Department of Defense continue to ignore a key Congressional mandate; and to our dismay we saw conspiracy theories inundate the discussion about the assassination of a top Iranian general.

Declassify the Report on Palestinian “Refugees”

Just before Thanksgiving, former US Ambassador the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted, “Very important that the Trump administration declassify the report that provides a current estimate of the number of Palestinian refugees who are receiving support. This goes to the heart of speaking hard truths in the name of moving peace forward.”

Ambassador Haley is right. CUFI was an early and strong backer of the Trump administration’s decision to end American support for UNRWA. The time has now come for the administration to declassify the relevant report so that the necessary changes can be made to this bloated and wayward UN entity.

Speaking of Reports

Earlier this year, the Action Fund’s Boris Zilberman published an op-ed in Newsweek that contained the following note, “A report from the Department of Defense on Hezbollah's influence over the LAF was required by the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to be submitted to Congress in late June. It has yet to arrive.”

Sadly, months later, Zilberman’s statement is as true today as when it was written. The simplest explanation for the delay is that Defense Department would rather not comply with the law and release the report because it will confirm what CUFI and others have been saying for several years: American investment in the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) is not living up to its mandate.

When the next Secretary of Defense comes before the Senate for his/her confirmation hearing, we hope Senators will take a moment to ask the nominee if they plan on complying with the law and delivering the report.

We Buried the Lead…

The above issues matter, but the talk of the foreign policy intelligentsia this week was the assassination of Brigadier General Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The far left has worked itself up into a bit of tizzy over this, and it’s more than a bit absurd.

First, let’s set the record straight. Fakhrizadeh was a top official in the terrorist-designated Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and he was leading the effort to provide the world’s most destabilizing regime with the world’s deadliest weapon. Like the late IRGC Major General Qasem Soleimani, and the late Iran-backed terrorist Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Fakhrizadeh was a legitimate military target.

Second, sometimes chopping off the head of the snake is exactly what is required. The targeted killings of Soleimani and al-Muhandis were a significant setback for Iran’s efforts to sow conflict and advance terrorism throughout the region. Likewise, Fakhrizadeh’s demise will have a tangible negative impact on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Unfortunately, these simple realities are lost on certain elected officials. For example, Sen. Chris Murphy, tweeted, “If the primary purpose of the killing of Mr. Fakhrizadeh was to make it harder to restart the Iran nuclear agreement, then this assassination does not make America, Israel or the world safer.”

Not to be outdone, Matt Dusss, an advisor to Sen. Bernie Sanders best known for his utter disdain for the Israel, accused Fakhrizadeh’s assassins of terrorism. That’s right folks, whoever killed the guy trying to give the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism a nuke is in fact a terrorist. This isn’t a worldview, it’s a joke (sans the funny).

The Simplest Explanation

Given the complexity of the operation, the simplest explanation for the timing of Fakhrizadeh’s assassination is that it had likely been planned for months, and when the opportunity to execute presented itself, the order was given. The ifs and maybes of the Iran nuclear deal didn’t play a role. Not everything is about American politics.

And given that the above is obvious to anyone who’s given it a moment’s thought (or ever read a John Le Carre  novel), the simplest explanation for the chorus of condemnation from the fringe-left is that they think Israel committed the attack, and they just don’t like it when Israel defends itself.

If there were a Mt. Rushmore for terror, Soleimani, al-Muhandis and Fakhrizadeh would be on it. The killings of these men saved countless lives because it prevented them from wreaking havoc and/or proliferating nuclear weapons. There are people walking around today that wouldn’t be alive had it not been for these targeted actions.

Elite leftists: Please tell us again why that’s a bad thing? And while you’re at it, please do let us know how many innocent people should die in order to avoid offending their would-be killers?

While we’re waiting on those answers, keep a lookout over the next few weeks for several policy pieces from CUFI and the Action Fund. We’re gearing up for 2021, and we look forward to seeing you there with us on the field.


Sincerely,


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