CUFI public policy arm: The new sheriff in town
With the Trump administration’s supportive position on Israel, members of the House and Senate are finding themselves at a crossroads: Will they bear left and continue down the road of appeasing violence and opposing Israel’s right to build homes in Israel? Or will they bear right and demand the cessation of Palestinian terror and incitement as well as the United Nations’ irrational and obsessive condemnation of Israel?
Unlike the traditional pro-Israel lobbying that has lacked political accountability, a new nationwide effort is underway to educate millions of Americans on how their congressional representatives vote: a scorecard.
The CUFI Action Fund, the policy wing of Christians United for Israel, will immediately begin tracking and ranking the voting records and Israel-related comments of every member of the House and Senate, including their use of rules to prevent pro-Israel legislation from coming to the floor for an up-or-down vote.
Members of the Senate were notified of the initiative by letter last week, a copy of which was exclusively obtained by the Haym Salomon Center:
Our voter scorecard will examine votes on BDS, aid to entities that support terror, restraining an increasingly belligerent Iran, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem – the the eternal, undivided capital of Israel – and a host of other issues.
Gary Bauer, CUFI Action Fund’s Washington director, told the Haym Salomon Center, “The goal of the scorecard is to shine a light into the deliberations and votes of members of Congress so that the American public can make informed decisions about their elected officials.” Bauer added, “You can’t be pro-Israel if you continually ask Israel to take risks for peace while Palestinians are teaching their children that all of Israel is ‘a settlement’ and continuing to name schools and public squares after terrorist murderers.”
Launched last summer, the Action Fund is currently focused on combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, exposing anti-Israel sentiment in the United Nations, and seeing David Friedman confirmed as ambassador to Israel.
The Action Fund letter, which went out to House members Monday morning, states, “Mr. Friedman’s record as an articulate advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel alliance in defense of Western civilization is clear. Ambassador-designate Friedman will diligently work to overcome the damage done to the U.S.-Israel alliance in recent years. He is the ideal person to reassure the Israeli people that support for them among the American public is strong and bipartisan.”
The Action Fund’s impact is also being felt at the state level. This past Thursday, CUFI organized “Citizen Advocacy Day” in Austin, Texas. Israel advocates from the Lone Star state took to the state capital, lobbying support for anti-BDS legislation introduced late last year. Texas legislators received a letter from CUFI founder and chairman Pastor John Hagee, endorsing the bills making the rounds in the state House and Senate.
“Israel is among our closest allies in the world,” wrote Hagee. “The Jewish state shares our values, and its soldiers fight bravely to keep at bay the same radical Islamic terrorists that have perpetrated attacks in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere around the world. Texas exports to Israel totaled just under a half billion dollars. Standing with Israel is both the right thing to do and in our own self-interest.”
Since 2015, 17 states have said no to taxpayer-funded hate. The BDS movement has failed to hurt the Jewish state financially. To the contrary, BDS arguably has been an economic boost to Israel by creating awareness of yet another effort to attack Jews. People are especially looking to buy Israel goods. Keep up the hating, guys!
Sadly, on many college campuses, a new, impressionable generation is being indoctrinated with lies about Israel and efforts to delegitimize it, at taxpayer expense. Anti-Semitic intimidation and violence are most prevalent on campuses with aggressive pro-BDS activism. These new laws don’t interfere with free speech, but they will prevent taxpayers from being unwitting accomplices to these abhorrent activities.
The CUFI Action Fund is currently working to advance anti-BDS bills in Nevada, Wyoming and Montana.
Expect 2017 to be a monumental year for U.S. – Israel relations.
Paul Miller is President and Executive Director of the news and public policy group, Haym Salomon Center. Follow @pauliespoint
The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.