Our plan this week was to devote this edition of the Update to progress we are making on several fronts in our effort to combat antisemitism and stand up for the US-Israel relationship. And we’re not allowing a terrorist’s actions to change that. But as we’re sure you all know, over the weekend, a terrorist took several hostages at a small synagogue in Colleyville, TX.

Due to the brave, professional and disciplined actions of local and federal law enforcement, all the hostages came out of the ordeal physically unharmed. There is therefore reason to rejoice today. But this latest act of violence against the Jewish community must serve as a stark reminder that our mission is far from over and more important than ever.

Combating Antisemitism

Last week it was released that Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey issued a CUFI-backed proclamation highlighting the importance of combating antisemitism, acknowledging the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism and recognizing International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th. We are deeply grateful to the Governor and her team for their bold statement.

Likewise, we wish to express our thanks to the newly inaugurated Governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, who signed an executive order aimed at combating antisemitism. The measure sets up an associated commission, provides schools with Holocaust education resources and acknowledges the IHRA definition.

These gubernatorial actions demonstrate progress on this front, but there is much more to be done. In the coming weeks we hope to update you on more actions taken at state capitals across the country; so, stay tuned.

Combating Terrorism

Late last week, CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker published an op-ed in the Washington Examiner expressing support for the recently introduced Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act. According to Parker, the legislation “is a straightforward and smart rebuke to morally bankrupt leaders in anti-Israel countries such as Qatar that are processing handouts to Palestinians with blood on their hands."

“[The bill] will empower the Treasury Department, among other things, to block any bank processing a 'martyr payment' from having any connection or relationship to American banks,” Parker went on to write.

With the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) pay-to-slay program still in full force, and the international community continuing to funnel money to the PA, this legislation is timely and important. We are grateful to Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) for putting the bill forward and will support it just as we did the original Taylor Force Act.

Combating the Hamas Caucus

We’ve spoken several times about Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) dangerous and misguided decision to consistently block efforts to resupply Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system following this past summer’s Hamas rocket war against Israel. And last week, Christians United for Israel joined a number of pro-Israel organizations from across the political spectrum calling for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to advance this support without delay.

In the letter, the group of pro-Israel organizations notes, “One person’s objection should not undermine the overwhelming bipartisan will of the Senate nor stand in the way of ensuring Israel has the tools necessary to keep its people safe… The stakes are high. Failure to act could embolden Hamas or Hezbollah and imperils innocent lives on the ground.”

The American people – even Senator Paul’s own constituents – want this support to advance; in the coming weeks, we’ll see if the Senate leaders heed our warning.

From antisemites in our own backyard to the terrorists on Israel’s doorstep, the CUFI Action Fund remains committed to combating the scourge of anti-Jewish hatred wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head. We are grateful to you for standing with us in this endeavor, and for taking the time to remain the most educated and engaged pro-Israel advocates in the country.


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