An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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In this week’s Action Update, we breakdown the implications (or lack thereof) of the Biden administration’s decision to re-engage the UN Human Rights Council. We also break down the implications (or lack thereof) of the International Criminal Court’s decision that they can sit in judgement of Israel. Finally, we’ll give an update on the Biden team’s announcement concerning sanctions relief and the Iran nuclear accord.

He Who is Without Sin

Pardon us if you’ve heard this before, but the US has decided to re-engage with the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) as an observer.

As a reminder, the HRC has several “agenda items,” and only one country is given the high honor of having an agenda item all to themselves: Israel. In addition, it’s worth recalling that despite the astounding volume of real and gross human rights violations around the world, Israel has been condemned by this body exponentially more times than any other country. Finally, the HRC’s 47 member states currently include such paragons of virtue as China, Libya, Pakistan, Russia, and Venezuela.

Given that past remains prologue, we’re going to depart from our regularly scheduled programing and offer predictions:

First, team Biden will seek to try to change the UN HRC’s appalling anti-Israel bias. While the desire to do so is admirable, it will unfortunately fail as have successive administrations before.

Second, the HRC will continue to single out Israel for unfair condemnation and parrot the talking points of Israel’s most disgusting detractors. At the same time, the HRC will continue to gloss over and in some cases help instigate some of the worst human rights abuses on earth.

Finally, eventually an American administration will look at the HRC’s record, realize they are a corrupt entity that no amount of engagement will ever reform, and remove the US from this den of duplicity and hypocrisy. Rinse, repeat. 

He Who is Without Jurisdiction

The International Criminal Court (ICC), to which Israel is not a member state, has decided that it has jurisdiction to sit in judgement of Israel’s actions to defend themselves against Palestinian terror.

Understandably, several ICC member states, namely Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Australia, Brazil, and Uganda, opposed the ICC’s controversial decision. The Biden administration, through the State Department, noted that it had “serious concerns” about the ICC’s pre-trial decision and re-emphasized that “The United States has always taken the position that the court’s jurisdiction should be reserved for countries that consent to it.”

It should be noted that last year 69 Senators sent a letter to the Trump administration calling the ICC’s focus on Israel “dangerous” and that “the US should stand in full force against any biased investigation of Israel.” Then Senator, and now Vice President, Kamala Harris was one of the signatories. While administrations have changed, we urge the Biden administration to continue to stand against the ICC’s unjust and illegitimate focus on Israel. 

At this point, while Israel has reacted strongly to the decision, there is no investigation yet in place. Moreover, the consequences of such an investigation, which would likely take years, are not likely to have a tangible impact on Israel – though some Israeli military leaders might find their international travel options limited. The truth is that this is yet another attempt by Israel-haters to delegitimize the very existence of the state of Israel. If Jerusalem’s defense of its citizens from terrorism is deemed illegitimate by the international court, this is another talking point for those who wish Israel to be wiped off the map.

That said, as we’ve seen with various other efforts by international institutions to jump on the ‘we hate Israel’ bandwagon, the most predictable outcome of this charade is that the ICC’s own legitimacy, already hampered by the same type of mismanagement we’ve come to expect similarly illustrious international bodies, will take yet another blow. Despite the hopes of anti-Semites around the world, a handful of judges in Europe will not stop Israel from defending its citizens.

He Who is not to be Trusted (Ever)

Over the weekend, President Biden said that his administration would not lift sanctions against Iran until the Iranians comply with the Iran nuclear accord. This is an important and welcome announcement. We don’t think much of 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but we think even less of any proposal that would enable Iran to receive sanctions relief by continuing to destabilize the Middle East.

In recent weeks we’ve discussed the disconnect between statements made by the Biden administration’s top officials (including the President himself) that advocate a “longer and stronger” agreement with Iran, and the decision to appoint serial appeaser Robert Malley as US envoy to the Islamic Republic. Hopefully, this latest statement from the President indicates that a stronger approach to Iran is in the making.

In related news, just a few days ago UN inspectors discovered more evidence of undeclared Iranian nuclear activities at two sites recently visited by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The type of radioactive material the inspectors found potentially indicates nuclear weapons development took place at the sites in question.

We didn’t need more evidence that Iran has never been in compliance with the nuclear accord, but we hope this latest development makes the Biden administration rethink reentering the failed 2015 nuclear accord as is but instead brings Iran to the negotiating table to discuss a longer, stronger and comprehensive agreement with Tehran.

We know we threw a lot at you this week, but as always, we thank you for taking the time to stay up to date on the most important issues facing Israel and the Middle East. Next week we’ll be back with, among other items, an in-depth look at a key Biden administration nominee you may not yet have heard of.


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