On the surface, Christians United For Israel appears to support some honorable goals of religious reconciliation between the Christian and Jewish community as well as fostering respect for the role of the Jewish faith in the creation of the later Christian faith. And events that include travel to Israel seem to promote more respect for the history and importance of Israel in the history of the Christian faith. But it is the organization's lobby efforts to push the U.S. towards a possible war with Iran that prove a great danger to Mideast and world stability.
Under leadership of ultraconservative San Antonio, Texas, Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church, Christians United For Israel at first appeared to serve many legitimate goals in Christian-Jewish religious reconciliation, but now has grown into a huge organization involving many pastors, churches and sympathetic politicians. Rev. John Hagee opened a recent huge conference event by reading a letter of support from President Bush. CUFI attempts to launch millions of phone calls and Emails every year to members of Congress to promote the organization's goals. Newt Gingrich was also a keynote speaker at a major CUFI event before a big delegation left for Washington to lobby Congress.
The goals of CUFI are pretty clear when the homepage of this organization speaks of the evil of the Holocaust and compares President Mahmoud Admadinejad as the new "Hitler" bent on once again conspiring to exterminate the Jews. Certainly Admadinejad is a huge threat to stability in the Mideast and presents a serious potential threat if his four million man Iranian military has nuclear weapons beyond the estimated 11,000 rockets or missiles it now possesses according to some claims. CUFI also opposes any "land for peace" deals with the Palestinians which is no solution to that serious problem either.
As much as CUFI would like to lobby the American public and Congress to support U.S. military action against Iran in order to protect the security of Israel, the fact of the matter is that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in very shaky political position in Iran, with plummeting popularity at home due to rising unemployment and inflation, that his extremist politics have done little to improve. His radicalism has limited trade with important potential trade partners like the U.S. and cost the Iranian economy in major ways. There is huge political opposition to both President Ahmadinejad and the radical religious leadership of Iran, and any U.S. war with Iran can only hurt that opposition and unite the strength for the extremists in Iran in a nationalistic way.
CUFI also fails to note that Russia is building the nuclear projects in Iran not only for revenue, but it also attempting to keep control over any nuclear material as well. Whenever Iran is uncooperative to Russian security demands or fails to make regular payments for the program, Russia suspends any new work on behalf of Iran. The U.S. could involve itself in a potentially serious military situation with Russia as a result of any attack on Iranian nuclear program sites.
CUFI may think of itself as a well-meaning pro-Israel lobby organization. And some of it's goals are indeed worthy ones. But any rush into war with Iran over fears of possible nuclear dangers risks strengthening the religious extremists in Tehran and would be a potential disaster for relations with Russia and possibly China, which relies heavily on Iranian oil. International efforts including Russia need a first effort to regulate the Iranian nuclear program on one hand, and pro-democracy elements in Iran need more opportunity to reform the government of Iran as well.
With the political situation of Iranian President Ahmadinejad steadily worsening in Iran, the U.S. needs to give a little more time to peaceful efforts to remove him from power and for Iran the opportunity to change political course on it's own. The U.S. efforts to change Iraq have proven to be a real disaster so far, now costing $330 million dollars a day. Iran could truly become World War III if the U.S. rushes to war with this powerful and large Persian state.
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