An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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All of the events taking place on the world’s stage that we plan to discuss this week impact each other, and in order to appreciate them one must take a holistic view of national security and foreign policy. As such, in this week’s Action Update we’ll go around the world, from Jerusalem to Washington and from Kabul to Tehran.

PM Bennett Heads to Washington

Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is headed to Washington this week to meet with President Biden. According to reports, the main focus of the conversation will be on Iran. Bennett will go beyond simply criticizing the current American efforts. A statesman that by all accounts seeks to ensure a strong US-Israel relationship, Bennett has said he will discuss with Biden, “an orderly plan that we have formulated in the past two months to curb the Iranians, both in the nuclear sphere and vis-à-vis regional aggression.”

Bennett’s approach is not dissimilar from that of many in the foreign policy arena who feel that one cannot compartmentalize the nuclear issue, nor allow the current stall in negotiations to continue allowing Iran to develop nuclear capabilities. Iran is a human rights abuser, spreads misery, death and destruction wherever it engages, and remains the world’s leading sponsor of terror.

Tehran and the Taliban

Given the above, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Iran’s war criminal turned President, Ebrahim Raisi, welcomed the US “defeat” in Afghanistan, and that the Iranians have been engaging with the Talban since well before that tyrannical terrorist-army overran Kabul.

The consequences of the Afghanistan debacle are many. CUFI Action Fund Director of Public Policy and Strategy Boris Zilberman captured the issue succinctly in a recent Fox News interview when he noted, “what happens in Afghanistan does not stay in Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan will now once again become a safe haven for terrorists like al-Qaeda. In addition, other bad actors in the region will be emboldened. In fact, we’re already seeing the ripple effects of the Taliban takeover spill onto Israel’s doorstep.

Hamas and Hezbollah

On Israel’s northern border the terrorist army Hezbollah lies in wait. Always enhancing their capabilities and always ready to do the bidding of their patrons in Iran. Their latest move, coming shortly after the disaster in Afghanistan, is to import Iranian oil into Lebanon. This is not only an effort to generate support amongst the Lebanese people – beleaguered by their corrupt and incompetent leaders in Beirut – but is also an effort to thumb their nose at American efforts to hamper Iran’s ability to translate oil into influence. And it’s not a coincidence that this move comes at this moment in time.

Likewise, Hamas, who has also unsurprisingly welcomed the Taliban’s success in Afghanistan, recently stepped up efforts to test and attack Israel. There have been significant clashes in recent days along the Gaza Israel border. In one incident, a 21-year-old Border Police Officer named Barel Hadaria Shmueli, was shot in the head at point blank range. He survived and is currently in serious condition, “unconscious and connected to a ventilator,” according to the hospital at which he is being treated. In addition to the clashes, arson balloons are once again being deployed by Hamas to scorch the Israeli earth near Gaza.

We hope and pray for the Border Guardsman’s full recovery. And we wish Prime Minister Bennett well in his visit to the United States.

From a policy perspective, the US cannot continue to engage in business as usual. From Afghanistan to Lebanon to Israel, real people are having their lives forever changed, and at times even lost, due in part to an American foreign policy approach that seems to never learn the lessons of history.

The time has long since passed for the Biden Administration to reject the bumper sticker politics and tired old opinions of so-called “experts,” all of which got us to the difficult point where we presently find ourselves.

It’s time to wake up to reality. And thus it is our hope that President Biden listens to the former special forces warrior turned elected official coming from Jerusalem to Washington this week. Bennett knows the importance of strength, the cost of war, and the consequences of weakness. His words and warnings should be heeded.


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