An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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Over the past week, members of CUFI leadership and the CUFI Action Fund traveled from Abu Dhabi to Jerusalem and back home to the USA. Along the way, we spoke at length with an Arab royal, hugged a grandmother as she wept in the ruins of her home destroyed by a Hamas rocket, shared numerous wonderful and heartbreaking moments with former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, and walked in the footsteps of the Jesus.

A True Prince

His Royal Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan received a delegation of CUFI leadership in his office in Abu Dhabi where he serves as the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Sheikh is a true mensch. He is highly intelligent and thoughtful. And the rulers of the Emirates have achieved wonderous things in their country.

Like Israel, the UAE is focused on progress that honors the past. And the Sheikh embodies that sentiment. Our conversation was off the record, so we can only share our own comments, but we thanked the Sheikh for the UAE’s commitment to the Abraham Accords, their public stance in support of Israel during the recent conflict with Hamas, and for their strength in the face of Iranian malice.

We also have a message that we hope our readers will hear: In the Middle East we’ve far too few friends, but we have some very good ones, first and foremost Israel, but also the Kurds, and, in our view, the Emirates.

Solidarity With Israel

The primary focus of our travel was to express solidarity with the people of Israel in the wake of the eleven days of rocket attacks they endured recently during the latest conflict with Hamas. Pastor Hagee, CUFI’s founder and Chairman, led the delegation, and was joined by Ambassador Nikki Haley and CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker.

The Pastor and the Ambassador began their mission in quiet prayer at Jerusalem’s Western Wall. They then enjoyed a traditional Sabbath dinner with former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. They visited a number of locations during the trip, but a few moments stood out.

On Sunday, the group traveled to Ashkelon and Sderot, towns that often bear the brunt of Hamas’s rocket fire. The scenes of destruction were heartbreaking, only made more so by the impassioned testimony of a woman who’d lost her home when, clutching her grandchild, a rocket blew the house apart. The shockwave of the explosion threw the grandmother into a wall – where her hair is still stuck. We thank God both she and her grandbaby survived.

Tragically, horrifically, in Sderot, the same was not the fate of 6-year-old boy, who was killed when his apartment was hit by a Hamas rocket. The Pastor and the Ambassador traveled to the apartment building to pay their respects and join the entire nation of Israel in mourning that loss. We at the Action Fund communicate for a living, but for this, there are no words.

Conveying the Message

Following the prayers in Jerusalem, and the heartbreak in Ashkelon and Sderot, Pastor Hagee and Ambassador Haley returned to Jerusalem to meet with elected officials. As CUFI stands with the democratically elected government of Israel, and takes no position on internal Israeli politics, the Pastor and the Ambassador met with now leader of the opposition, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and newly installed Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

Despite the fact that Lapid and Netanyahu come from different political camps, their comments on Iran could not have been more in lockstep. Hamas fired the rockets, Iran bought and made the rockets, and US sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic is the surest way to ensure there will be more rockets.

There is nothing pro-Israel about enriching Israel’s (and America’s) enemies. There is no merit to enabling the world’s leading sponsor of terror. The US can and must do better.

The moments we experienced during this visit to the region will stay with us forever. Some beautiful, some surreal, some utterly catastrophic. But this is our job. We comfort His people. We strengthen the US -Israel relationship. And we are able to do it because of your support.


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