Members of Christians United for Israel Head to Austin in Support of Anti-BDS Legislation

Members of Christians United for Israel Head to Austin in Support of Anti-BDS LegislationSAN ANTONIO, Feb. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On Thursday, members of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization, will join with Texas state legislators Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-4) and Rep. Phil King (R-61) to lobby elected officials in support of legislation that prohibits state entities from investing in or engaging with companies that Boycott, Divest from, or Sanction (BDS) Israel.

The anti-BDS bills, HB 89 and SB 134, enjoy bipartisan support in the legislature and have the backing of Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

The Citizens Advocacy Day will kick off at 9:00 AM at the Old Supreme Court, Room 3N3 in the State Capitol. Following remarks from local leaders, pro-Israel Texans from around the state will fan out across the Capitol to lobby in support of the bills.

In addition, while in Austin, CUFI staffers will hand deliver letters authored by the group’s San Antonio based founder and Chairman, Pastor John Hagee, to every member of the legislature.

The letters state in part, “Israel is among our closest allies in the world. 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 US, Europe and elsewhere around the world.”

In the letters, Hagee also notes the close economic relationship his home state enjoys with Israel, “…in 2015 alone, Texan 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.”

The Texas legislation is just the latest in a string of state-level anti-BDs bills that have received strong support from CUFI. The group is also actively working to advance legislation in Montana, Nevada and Wyoming among several others.

With more than 3.3 million members, Christians United for Israel is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world. CUFI spans all fifty states and reaches millions with its message. Each year CUFI holds hundreds of pro-Israel events in cities around the country. And each July, thousands of pro-Israel Christians gather in Washington, D.C. to participate in the CUFI Washington Summit and make their voices heard in support of Israel and the Jewish people.

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After Obama’s Betrayal Of The Jewish State, Christians Gathered in D.C. To Fight Back.

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With only a few days’ notice, over 250 Christians from across the country placed their lives on hold and answered what many described as a “calling” to come to Washington D.C. and lobby support for Israel.

The “marching orders” came from Pastor John Hagee, chairman of Christians United for Israel. To give his 3.3 million members a more active voice in Washington, CUFI recently launched the CUFI Action Fund. Hagee declared:

Millions of Christian Zionists across the country are incensed at the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel, and we will make our voices heard both in the halls of Congress and at the ballot box. The days of appeasing Israel’s enemies and undermining the US-Israel alliance are over.

Christian leaders gathered Tuesday evening at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill for what Hagee characterized as a “pep rally” before the “big game.”

Gary Bauer, CUFI Action Fund Washington Director, offered opening remarks, explaining why everyone was asked to come in for what CUFI describes as a “fly-in.”

“We are going to Capitol Hill to deliver a very specific message to both sides of the aisle: Use US leverage to end Israel-bashing at the UN; support moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem; and confirm David Friedman, President-elect Donald Trump’s excellent choice to be US Ambassador to Israel,” explained Bauer. “The American people stand with the Jewish state, and we expect our leaders in Washington to reflect that position in every relevant vote they cast.”

In a show of bipartisan support, attendees received words of gratitude and encouragement from Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Coons opened his remarks by thanking CUFI and the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition, who also sent representatives to the event. The Delaware Democrat stated he was “certain” the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would adopt a bipartisan resolution “making it clear that UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which undermines direct negotiations between [the Palestinian Authority and Israel], was an unbalanced resolution that should not have passed.” Coons went on to criticize the UNSC resolution “for not recognizing the right of the Jewish homeland to exist.”

Sen. Graham struck an even harsher tone against the UN, questioning the validity of the U.S. to continue funding the world body, currently receiving over $3 billion a year from American taxpayers.

Israel advocates from 49 states (Vermont being the exception) expressed their enthusiasm with numerous standing ovations for each of the speakers.

Reverend Kaatee Bailey made the journey to Washington from her home in Maui, Hawaii. Bailey credited her love for Israel and the Jewish people for the reason she made the 4800-mile trip on only 48 hours’ notice.

“I love Israel, I defend Israel, I would travel around the world to fight and defend Israel and the Jewish people,” said Bailey. “I was honored and privileged to be asked to come out here. I am called to defend Israel, it’s my life and my passion.”

Blair Thoreson, one of nearly 15 activists from North Dakota, also described his attendance as a “calling,” stressing that “Israel is a beacon of freedom and hope in a part of the world that has little of both. Efforts to delegitimize Israel is an effort to delegitimize everything that is right in the world.”

Read More At: Independent Journal Review

CUFI Talking Points – John Kerry’s Alternate Reality

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On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech outlining his vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.  This speech made clear why Kerry is merely talking about peace instead of achieving it.  This confused man simply does not comprehend why his prior peace efforts — and all prior peace efforts — have failed.

The reason why there’s no peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is not because of settlements, Israeli intransigence or Israel’s “right wing” politicians.  The Israelis have repeatedly offered the Palestinians their own state in Gaza, East Jerusalem and almost all of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).  The Israelis have made this offer as long ago as 1937 and as recently as 2008. In 2014, Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted John Kerry’s peace initiative and agreed to resume negotiations with the Palestinian with no preconditions.

The Palestinians have turned down every single one of these offers.  And they refused to resume negotiations under Kerry’s peace initiative.  They have made clear in both word and deed that they will not agree to any peace deal that requires them to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and end their conflict with Israel.

Simply put, the only real barrier to peace in the Middle East is the Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any size, shape or form.  Instead, Israel’s supposed partner for peace — the Palestinian Authority — is busy making cash payments to terrorists and their families while naming town squares, streets and parks after the worst of these terrorists.  Having educated their citizens to hate Israel, Palestinian leaders cannot now turn around and make peace with her — not if they want to survive.

Secretary Kerry’s words will reward this Palestinian intransigence and embolden these Palestinian terrorists.  But they will do nothing to being peace.

It’s Not the Settlements

 

blogImmediately after the UN voted last week to vilify Israel, Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security advisor, held a conference call to argue that the Obama administration was motivated by its “grave concerns” about “the continued pace” of Israeli settlement activities. He asserted that the administration could not “in good conscience” veto the resolution. Here is how Rhodes quantified the administration’s “grave concerns”:

[S]ince 2009, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank has increased by more than 100,000 to nearly 400,000. … There are now nearly 900,000 — I’m sorry, 90,000 settlers living east of the separation barrier that was created by Israel itself. And the population of these distant settlements has grown by 20,000 since 2009.

The figure of 100,000 sounds significant until you realize that 80 percent of it has been in the settlement blocs “everyone knows” Israel will retain in any conceivable peace agreement. The 20,000 person increase east of the separation barrier, established to stop the wave of Palestinian mass murders against Israelis, translates into less than one percent of the population in the disputed territories, over a period of eight years.

It is ludicrous to argue that the settlements are an “obstacle to peace,” because they were not an obstacle to offering the Palestinians a state on three separate occasions: (a) in July 2000 at Camp David; (b) in the Clinton Parameters six months later; and (c) in the Olmert offer at the end of the one-year Annapolis Process in 2008. Each time, the Palestinians rejected a state on substantially all of the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in Jerusalem. Since then–as Rhodes’ numbers show–the vast majority of Israeli settlement activity has been within settlement blocs that no one can realistically expect Israel to dismantle.

Read more at: Commentary