An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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We start this week with the unwelcome but not-so-surprising news that hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money is being sent to one of the of the UN’s worst programs. We also thought it worth mentioning that there is a real fear that the Biden administration is sadly slipping back into its old habits when it comes to Iran. Finally, we wrap things up by bringing you news of yet another state legislative victory.

Rotten to the Core

In keeping with their “forgive every Palestinian sin” approach to the region, earlier this month the Biden administration elected to restore $235 million in US aid to the Palestinians, which includes $150 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), $75 million in economic support and $10 million for peacebuilding programs via USAID - all of which had been previously suspended by the Trump administration.

We back the suspension of such assistance and see no reason to restore it until the underlying issues that lead to the initial suspension (i.e. pay to slay) have been resolved. The reasons for the termination of the aid in the case of UNRWA are plain and simple: UNRWA teaches hatred of Jews in its classrooms, keeps the Palestinian people in a perpetual state of refugee status, and – unlike all other people groups on the planet – continuously bestows refugee status on every Palestinian generation. None of this has changed.

In fact, in recent weeks, the pro-Israel community sent a letter, signed by CUFI among several others, calling attention to the hateful and antisemitic messaging in UNRWA textbooks. Until UNRWA ceases working to perpetuate the conflict and force-feed school aged Palestinians hatred of Jews and Israelis, not one American dollar should support that entity. Unfortunately, as with Iran, the Biden administration seems content to gloss over the horrible reality on the ground and reinstate failed policies that harm the very people they are intended to help.

Only One Path Will Bear Fruit

Speaking of Iran, depending upon who is being asked, the Biden administration’s efforts to effectively return to a slightly modified Iran nuclear accord are either “far away” or could become reality “within weeks.”

The Israelis fear that the Biden administration is rushing forward and that, “The Iranians smell that the Americans want an agreement at any price.” If the Israeli assessment is correct, the Biden administration is squandering the leverage afforded to the President and his team by President Trump’s strong approach to the Islamic Republic.

This said, there is widespread, bipartisan agreement here at home that any engagement with Iran should address the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, missile development, support for terror and human rights abuses. All of it. In fact, a bipartisan group of 40 Senators sent the President a letter in late March expressing their view that any agreement should be comprehensive and enjoy bipartisan support in the US.

The Senators also expressed their belief that the White House should “consult with our European allies, Israel, and Gulf security partners on a path forward with Iran.” This approach, aimed at achieving consensus amongst lawmakers here at home and amongst our allies – including Israel and Arab nations who are geographically closest to Iran and the associated dangers – has been and remains the CUFI Action Fund’s position. And we will continue to convey that to policy makers in Washington at every turn. We need not rush into a bad agreement; rather, the Biden administration needs to put in the time and work to secure a strong agreement.

Cherry on Top

It’s not always easy to end on a high note, but this week, it’s a breeze. Last Friday the Idaho state legislature passed the anti-BDS bill in that state, advancing a third CUFI-backed anti-BDS bill this year. As most state legislatures wind down their annual sessions, we are thrilled to say that we went 3 for 3 in the states we decided in late January to zero in on for anti-BDS bills in 2021.

We still have work to do to advance relevant executive action, and to advance Holocaust education legislation in other states, but we are very pleased these measures have advanced and want to express our gratitude to all those who helped move these bills forward.

Until next week, thank you as always for devoting the time to go in-depth with us on these vital issues and of course for your support Israel and the CUFI Action Fund.


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