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International Community Condemns China’s Violations of Uyghur Human Rights

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By Jaelyn Morgan, Intern for the Department of International Affairs, Concerned Women for America

In the face of China’s gross violations against the Uyghur people and other minorities, the United States is speaking out. So is Concerned Women for America.

The U.S. State Department has accumulated mounting evidence on China’s systemic human rights violations against over one million Uyghur and other ethnic and religious minorities, particularly in the Xinjiang province. Violations include “forced disappearance, political indoctrination, torture, psychological and physical and psychological abuse, including forced sterilization and sexual abuse, forced labor, and prolonged detention without trial.” Most victims are Muslim. A significant number are Christian.

On June 17, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 to hold the individuals and entities responsible for the “gross violations of human rights” against the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. On July 1, 2020, Concerned Women for America (CWA) released a statement in support of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s stance, stating, “A program of mass sterilization and forced abortion in ethnic and religious minority communities is particularly dehumanizing, and the global community cannot stay silent.”

China first denied, but has since acknowledged, the existence of “re-education” camps in Xinjiang which they claim are necessary for combatting “extremism” and “terrorism.” In 2013 and 2014, Chinese authorities labeled the Uyghurs as responsible for terrorist attacks in Tiananmen Square and Kunming, respectively. Currently, China severely restricts religious expression and interferes in the daily habits, education, weddings, funerals, and “family planning” of any person deemed a “religious extremist.”  Women undergo forced sterilizations and abortions. Individuals “disappear.” Families are arrested for having “too many children.” Parents are coerced into confessing that their personal choices show they are “lawless” and “uncivilized.”

By 2017, reports of the issue became public knowledge. On July 8, 2019, 22 Western nations formally requested for the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to address the matter. By the UN’s own guidelines, China’s actions to prevent births within the Uyghur group constitutes “genocide.” Ironically, China was on the HRC at that time and holds itself up as a leader in human rights while being a human rights violator. As Dr. Shea Garrison, CWA’s Vice President of International Affairs, stated in The Washington Times, “as in the case of China, confusion about fundamental rights offers cover to authoritarian and totalitarian governments that provide benefits to citizens as a demonstration of ‘human rights,’ all the while censoring the press, oppressing religious freedom or imprisoning political dissidents.” Indeed, only four days later, 37 countries sent a letter of refutation to the HRC, defending China’s actions in Xinjiang and praising them for “remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.”

Currently, more progress is being made toward holding China accountable for its unjust actions. Following the release of the U.S. Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, 50 independent UN experts sent a letter urging the HRC “to act collectively and decisively to ensure China respects human rights and abides by its international obligations.” On June 29, 2020, the Interparliamentary Alliance in China (IPAC), composed of parliaments from 15 nations, sent a statement to the UN General Assembly, calling on them to swiftly investigate the matter and determine whether  genocide is taking place.

The international community must uphold its own standards. What is taking place in China against certain minority groups is discriminatory, abusive, and wrong. Nations, including the U.S., must continue to put pressure on China and international human rights courts to bring accountability to those responsible for these horrific violations of human rights.

U.S. Relationship with World Health Organization will be Determined by This Year’s Presidential Election

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Figure 1: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) provides Coronavirus updates at the WHO daily press conference on June 7, 2020


By Jaelyn Morgan, Intern for Concerned Women for America’s Department of International Affairs

On Tuesday, spokesman Stéphane Dujarric confirmed the United States has officially notified U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres of its intended withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) effective July 6, 2021.

Rumors of withdrawal began in April, continuing up to President Donald Trump’s announcement for termination of the U.S. relationship with WHO on May 29, 2020. The withdrawal process will take about one year, making this November’s 2020 presidential election the determining factor for whether the U.S completes withdrawal or rejoins the WHO as an active Member State. In fact, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted that he would have the U.S. rejoin WHO on his first day as President.

As explained in a previous CWALAC article, the decision to defund WHO and terminate the bilateral relationship it shares with the U.S. is wholly justified under the principles of national sovereignty. Despite all its resources, WHO has not succeeded in preventing or slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and has acquiesced to China at the expense of other nations.

The recent interim report released by the Foreign Affairs Committee on the Origins of the COVID-19 Pandemic revealed the Chinese Communist Party deliberately covered up the Coronavirus. CWA’s Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison, pointed out in April in the Daily Caller that the “Chinese government’s initial denial, secretly quashing warnings from Chinese medical personnel, and silencing whistleblowers, contributed to at least a 5-week delay in addressing the coronavirus.” In addition, she noted  “if the Chinese government had acted 3-weeks earlier, the number of early cases world-wide could have been reduced by 95%.”

WHO accommodated China’s faulty reports, directly violating International Health Regulations and obligations toward its Member States. The U.S. has the sovereign right to end its relationship with the WHO in light of their failure to do their job, especially since their shortcomings have directly resulted in an unchecked pandemic that continues to take American lives.

Despite this, Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-New York), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, remains strongly against withdrawing from the WHO, stating, “Deflecting blame onto the WHO won’t reverse the administration’s mistakes or undo the suffering our country has endured.” Moreover, the U.S. continues to be a Member State of the WHO, though technically “inactive,” and continues to collaborate with the organization on multiple fronts for scientific, technical, and medical advances.

Both Democrat and Republican politicians have voiced dissent for U.S. withdrawal. In the New York Times, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) wrote, “International coalitions are essential to fighting global challenges; we should be strengthening our alliances, not dismantling them.” This cautious approach was echoed by conservative leaders such as Brett D. Shaefer of the Heritage Foundation, who stated, “If the WHO does not reform, the U.S. may have no choice but to withdraw and seek to establish an alternative organization to address global pandemics…[but] Far better to try to rally support for reforming the World Health Organization first, even if it takes longer than 30 days.”

Additionally, PEW Research Center discovered that Americans were split along party lines in their perception of the WHO’s handling of the Coronavirus. Fifty-one percent of Republican or Republican leaning citizens rated WHO’s handling of the virus as “only fair/poor,” with 28% calling it “Good/excellent.” In contrast, Democrat or Democratic learning citizens rated WHO with 36% “only fair/poor” and 62% “good/excellent.”

Debates concerning the legal viability of a withdrawal have been highly contested, and rightly so. According to the 1948 act of Congress, the U.S. needs to give a one-year notice before officially withdrawing from the WHO and must fulfill any financial obligations for “the Organization’s current fiscal year.” However, Congress did not specifically appropriate funds to WHO in their Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (2020), causing some to argue that there is leeway for the President’s discretion on how to spend appropriations toward international organizations. Yet, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations just released an appropriation of $200 million for WHO for the upcoming 2021 fiscal year. This conflicting legislation demonstrates America’s internal division over the issue of withdrawing from WHO.

There are also legitimate concerns that withdrawing from WHO will be harmful for global health aid, vaccine research, and the sharing of international medical information. However, the U.S. continues to “lead the Global Response to COVID-19,”  and, as of June 26, the U.S. has pledged international COVID-19 relief aid upwards of $1 billion. For the U.S., continuing to provide personalized aid to developing nations will not be hindered by this withdrawal.

In regard to the other objections, a proposition to create a pandemic prevention organization based in the United States is already underway. On May 21, Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) introduced S. 3829, a bill known as the Global Health Security and Diplomacy Act of 2020 (GHSDA). This bill had its first senate hearing on June 18 and continues to progress through the legislative process this year. Among numerous provisions, GHSDA will “advance global health security and diplomacy objectives” and empower countries to respond to infectious diseases before they become pandemics. The bill enables the United States to develop a comprehensive, inter-agency strategy toward these objectives, establishes a method of membership for other nations, and creates a Trust Fund for Global Health Security to finance international aid, research, and development.

Effective withdrawal from the World Health Organization will take time. Creating an alternative organization to the WHO will also take time. However, great work is being done to accomplish both objectives. The U.S continues to set the standard for international COVID-19 relief. Moreover, the U.S. adheres to International Health Regulations and respects the national sovereignty of other nations, items the WHO has demonstrably disregarded for the sake of its political agenda. As Elyssa Koren from Alliance Defending Freedom International stated in Newsweek, “Why go through the WHO, when the U.S. can award assistance itself, thereby increasing its sphere of influence?”

The 2020 U.S. presidential election is critical in determining the future course of this action. Who we vote for matters. Although, multiple considerations contribute toward deciding for whom one will vote, funding and participating with the World Health Organization should be a key consideration. Will we continue to work with the corrupted, politicized World Health Organization, or will we invest in an alternative solution that values transparency, efficacy, and national sovereignty?

May we vote wisely, never losing sight of American values and never compromising such values to cooperate with international bodies who disregard them.

CWALAC Stands with the U.S. Against Forced Abortion and Sterilization in China’s Religious Minority Populations

By | Blog, CEO, International, News and Events, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

This week the U.S. learned the Communist Chinese Party (CCP) is using forced abortion, forced sterilization, and coercive family planning against the Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang as part of a campaign to curb the Muslim minority population in China. As natural population growth has drastically decreased in Xinjang, CCP documents from 2019 reveal plans including a mass sterilization of women in two Uyghur counties with a focus on women in rural minorities.

Penny Nance, CEO and President, and Dr. Shea Garrison, Vice President of International Affairs, at Concerned Women for America had this to say:

“We join Secretary Pompeo in calling on the CCP to immediately end this horrific abuse of human rights. A program of mass sterilization and forced abortion in ethnic and religious minority communities is particularly dehumanizing, and the global community cannot stay silent.

“This past September at the UN General Assembly, Secretary Pompeo called out China as the perpetrator of the worst human rights crisis of our time, as they interned 1 million Uyghurs into so-called training camps to be “re-educated” and “saved” from their culture, language, and faith. Reports that the Chinese government’s oppression of the Uyghurs now extends to forced depopulation of their community continues to demonstrate an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and the rights and human dignity of ethnic and religious minorities.”

Defunding World Health Organization is Necessary; Here’s Why

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By Jaelyn Morgan, Intern for the Department of International Affairs, Concerned Women for America

Wall Street Journal could not have phrased it any better, “What good is a global health agency that won’t tell the truth about a pandemic?”[1] Yet, controversy still surrounds the recent announcement made by President Trump to defund the World Health Organization (WHO) due to its untimely and China-biased response to COVID-19. Some say the reaction is extreme. Others claim WHO is corrupted beyond repair. The question remains: is this policy worth supporting? Or is the U.S. withdrawing from an organization at the time the world needs it the most?

The World Health Organization is a branch of the United Nations responsible for communicating internationally relevant medical information to its Member States all across the globe. In light of their failure to properly convey information about the Coronavirus, it is no wonder the Trump Administration decided to write it off. On April 15, 2020, the White House released a fact sheet containing specific accusations of misconduct against WHO, criticizing the organization for its slow response to the Coronavirus and calling it to engage in total structural reform to ensure transparency, data sharing, accountability, and impartiality.[2]

On May 29, 2020, President Trump officially announced that the U.S. would terminate its relationship with WHO and redirect U.S. annual funding of $450 million dollars to “other worldwide and deserving, urgent, global public health needs.”[3] Justification for this measure was China’s “total control over World Health Organization,” and consequent action to “[pressure] the World Health Organization to mislead the world when the [Coronavirus] was first discovered by Chinese authorities.” The ensuing weeks resulted in a mixed reaction from both sides of the political aisle. However, this wakeup call toward WHO might not only have been necessary, but inevitable.

The political nature of a global entity makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to make any “neutral” decisions. Even WHO’s objectively “good” goal of “building a better, healthier future for people all over the world,”[4] does not make it a completely neutral entity which promotes what is best for humankind. Why? Each nation represented in WHO comes from a complex socio-cultural background with their own worldview and priorities. These worldviews inevitably clash due to significant variations in what each perceives as real, good, or best.

The World Health Organization is biased on many of its policies and recommendations. For example, a central aspect of WHO’s reproductive health initiative is the promotion and facilitation of abortion services. This objective is cleverly disguised under rhetoric advocating for “women’s rights” on the grounds of “realizing a women’s right to decide the spacing and timing of her children.”[5] Yet, this failure toward neutrality is exposed in its complete disregard for the pro-life argument against abortion on the grounds that it violates the human rights of an unborn child. WHO’s Reproductive Health Strategy explicitly states that “urgent actions are needed … to the extent allowed by law, provision of safe abortion services … [and] providing abortion services at primary health care level.”[6] Again, their progressive healthcare agenda is revealed in the claim that “access to safe, legal abortion is a critical reproductive healthcare service.”[7]

In addition, WHO’s explicitly progressive goal of advancing abortion across the globe demonstrates its profound lack of understanding and respect for national sovereignty. Their one-sided agenda reveals bias against nations who are culturally pro-life, as their publications demonstrate that WHO views such nations as oppressive entities which must provide “safe abortion” services to show that they support women.

For the United States, defunding the World Health Organization and using the funds to help other like-minded entities instead is a good decision. If an organization such as WHO cannot be neutral, there is no sense in funding it, especially since it has become clear that WHO has been acquiescing to the Chinese Communist Party at the expense of the health and well-being of other nations. The United States does, and hopefully always will, stand for democracy, freedom, and national sovereignty. This can be accomplished by withdrawing from WHO and determining as a nation which like-minded organizations we ought to support amid this worldwide pandemic.


[1] The Editorial board, “How WHO Really Feels About China,” Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-who-really-feels-about-china-11591226923.

[2] “President Donald J. Trump Is Demanding Accountability From the World Health Organization,” Fact Sheets: Healthcare, The White House, April 15, 2020, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-demanding-accountability-world-health-organization/.

[3] “Remarks by President Trump on Actions Against China,” Remarks: National Security & Defense, May 30, 2020, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-actions-china/.

[4] “About WHO,” World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/about.

[5] “Abortion” Overview, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/health-topics/abortion#tab=tab_1.

[6] World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, “Reproductive health strategy to accelerate progress towards the attainment of international development goals and targets,” May, 2004, https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/68754/WHO_RHR_04.8.pdf.

[7] Bearak, Jonathan Marc, Anna Popinchalk, Gilda Sedgh, et al., “Pregnancies, abortions, and pregnancy intentions: a protocol for modeling and reporting global, regional and country estimates,” Reproductive Health 16, no. 36, (March 2019), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-019-0682-0.

 

CWA socialism lesson

The Truth About Socialism Lesson 1

By | Blog, CWAACP, Education, International, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Socialism | No Comments

 

Do you want to understand what socialism is and how it impacts society? Or, how to respond to socialist promises like – Free Stuff! – healthcare and college? This lessons by Concerned Women for America’s Vice President of International Affairs Dr. Shea Garrison will help you understand why this seemingly benign philosophy has been disastrous wherever it has been implemented. This is part 1 in a series presented by the CWA Academy for Conservative Principles.

Click here for a digital copy of the booklet referenced in the lesson.

U.S. National Intelligence Priority: WHO Director-General’s Ties to Communist China

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CWA’s Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison, wrote the following op-ed published on CNS News.

“In his Senate confirmation hearing last week, Trump’s pick for Director of National Intelligence, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), remarked that the Chinese authoritarian regime is working diligently “to supplant us as the world’s superpower.”

The fact that Communist China strategically orchestrates its goal of world domination by infiltrating, influencing, and funding organizations and leaders in the U.S. and around the world, should be taken very seriously by U.S. national intelligence.

Although the extent of the World Health Organization’s collaboration with China is still to be determined, investigation is warranted into WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party — ties which may be critically relevant to the early spread of coronavirus and which are still potentially dangerous.

During Tedros’ campaign for WHO director general, the Ethiopian Registrar made a series of allegations in an article called “Why TPLF is Desperately Fighting for Dr. Tedros to be the Next DG of the WHO.” The TPLF, or Tigray People’s Liberation Front, is an historically Marxist-Leninist revolutionary party which ruled under cover of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front during Tedros’ time as minister of foreign affairs. Tedros is one of the nine executive members or “politburo” of the TPLF.

Read Dr. Garrison’s Entire Piece Here:

International Coalition Of Women’s Groups Sign Petition Pushing Olympic Committee To Bar Biological Males From Competing As Females

By | Blog, Feminist / Women's Issues, International, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Social / Cultural Issues | No Comments

CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations Doreen Denny was featured in this Daily Caller article published this week.

“A coalition of international women’s groups have signed a petition urging the International Olympic Committee to suspend their guidelines allowing transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.

Save Women’s Sports spearheaded the petition Monday, pushing the IOC to re-evaluate their transgender participation guidelines, which permit biological males who identify as female to participate in women’s sports.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed until July 2021. The IOC announced that it would wait until after the Olympics to publish new guidelines on transgender athletes.

Save Women’s Sports is urging the IOC to use the delay as an opportunity to re-examine the policies allowing transgendered people to compete in women’s sports, which the group says has “potentially devastating effects” and discriminates against women on the basis of sex.

“I looked at the IOC standards in 2015 thinking it would be the gold standard,” Linda Blade, a co-founder of Save Womens Sports told the Daily Caller. “And out of the blue they decided a man can self-identify as a woman and live like a woman and decrease testosterone a little bit,  which is still more than what females are allowed to have, and just go into Olympic sports.””

Read the Entire Article Here to See Doreen Denny’s Comments:

U.N. Report Promotes Abortion, LGBT ‘Rights’ Over Human Rights

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Sanctity of Life, Uncategorized, United Nations, United Nations | No Comments

CWA’s Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison, teamed up with Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation on an opinion piece published in The Washington Times.

“Billions of people around the world exercised their religious freedom during Holy Week, but a new United Nations report threatens to undermine both this freedom and women’s rights.

The report of Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. expert responsible for protecting religious freedom, advances a “progressive” agenda of abortion and new “rights” based on membership in sexual identity groups. It seems the U.N. is willing to trample the rights of the vulnerable and undermine the credibility of universal human rights to promote the values of a small number of wealthy countries — a travesty the Trump administration should oppose.

The report to the infamous U.N. Human Rights Council undermines the empowerment of women and girls by lumping their concerns together with novel claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It includes a controversial interpretation of “gender equality” that promotes acceptance of transgender ideology and the concept of multiple, fluid, “gender identities.””

Read Dr. Garrison and Emilie Kao’s Entire Piece Here:

From left to right: Dr. Shea Garrison, Concerned Women for America International Affairs; Alfonso Aguilar, Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles and International Human Rights Group; Luis Almagro, Secretary General, Organization of American States; Steven Aden, Americans United for Life; Gualberto Garcia-Jones, International Human Rights Group “On January 28, 2020, international pro-life organizations held a second meeting between and Sec. Almagro to discuss his upcoming reelection in March 2020 and to encourage him to promote the right to life in the American states.”

How Life is Winning in the Americas

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Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Luis Almagro on winning reelection to serve as Secretary General of the Organization of the American States (OAS). Secretary Pompeo commended Almagro for his work promoting democracy in South America and holding Castro accountable in Cuba.

While CWA International is grateful for Almagro’s stance against socialism, including against the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela, there have been concerns regarding his history of proabortion statements

Thankfully, prior to his reelection Secretary Almagro affirmed the right to life and his commitment to uphold that right as a pillar of the OAS convention stating:

“[…] definitely, the principles of religious freedom that I have mentioned and the principles of the right to life are fundamental principles and rights […] The application of the fullest validity of Article 4 of the American Convention is essential.”

Article 4 of the American Convention on Human Rights declares: “Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception.”

It is hard to overstate the significance of this statement by Secretary General Almagro.

This statement is the result of CWA International meeting privately with Secretary Almagro twice in the last three months, working diligently alongside other coalition partners to ask him to defend life and the unborn as the leader of the OAS.

After speaking with him about the importance of protecting all life and upholding the national sovereignty of each member state of the OAS, Secretary Almagro committed to include provisions in his election platform stating abortion is not an international right and affirming the national sovereignty of the countries who oppose abortion. Almagro also promised to support the freedom of religious-based organizations.

The OAS is comprised of 35 member states from North, Central, and South America, including the U.S. and Canada, as well as the Caribbean. According to Article 1 of its charter, OAS was formed in order to achieve “an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.” It is a regional entity similar to how the United Nations is a global one.

When Almagro was first elected Secretary General five years ago, he espoused the need for access to abortion:

“[T]he Americas continue to have some of the most restrictive laws regarding sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms [euphemism for abortion], and that reality has to change” [emphasis added].

This directly contradicts the OAS American Convention, not to mention the real healthcare needs of women.

This is why it was imperative Secretary Almagro declare his support for the OAS position on life. The secretary general’s role is to uphold the existing documents and principles, not project an agenda onto it.

Thankfully in March, Secretary Almagro committed publicly to upholding the American Convention and affirmed the right to life as set forth by OAS.

Though CWA International continues to work with Secretary Almagro to resolve some differences regarding defense of the family, we are excited he has made these pro-life declarations in a candidate forum prior to his reelection. We look forward to working alongside him to uphold OAS’s stance on protecting life from conception.

We join Secretary Pompeo in praising Secretary General Almagro’s promotion of freedom in the Americas and pushing back against the repressive socialist regimes of Venezuela, Nicaragua, and communist Cuba. We applaud him for also promising to protect the dignity and life of the unborn.

True freedom for all people.

 

CWA International: This Week in Washington, Support for Israel

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Support for Israel 

AIPAC Policy Conference

CWA International had the privilege of attending AIPAC’s (American Israel Political Action Committee) Policy Conference this week in Washington, D.C., to learn and celebrate the American-Israel relationship. Echoed throughout the general sessions and breakouts was the need to protect the bipartisan nature of our relationship with Israel and the importance of fighting anti-Semitism—there was a clear undertone, vocalized explicitly by a few speakers, of the dangers of Bernie Sanders’ statements calling AIPAC bigoted and Israel racist. Comments that Dr. Shea Garrison rebutted last week.

CWA received an invitation to attend the conference as a result of our collaboration with AIPAC as we take on these issues both on the Hill and internationally. Thank you for joining with us in standing with Israel and against anti-Semitism.

Talking Points on President Trump’s Peace Plan

You’ve heard us talk about the President’s Peace to Prosperity plan proposing a starting point for negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, but now we have talking points to break it down for you. Shea has taken the time to clearly outline and articulate key components and contours of the plan. This way we can all understand it without having to read all 181 pages. Check it out here.

Election

Israel had another election this week, the third in less than a year. Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin — Bibi — Netanyahu has won the most seats, but at the time of writing is still three seats short of the 61 seats needed to have a majority in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. It is believed Bibi will be able to increase his coalition in order to reach the 61-seat threshold and maintain his seat as Prime Minister—but this year has shown that nothing can be taken for granted.

“Peace to Prosperity”—Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan: What’s in it and how should I respond?

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CWA has as its seventh core issue Support for Israel. Dr. Shea Garrison, CWA’s Vice President for International Affairs, did an analysis of President Trump’s Middle East Peace to Prosperity plan. We encourage you to read her talking points, and as you gather to pray, please consider praying over each point I-IV as the Holy Spirit leads you. Pray also that Palestinian leadership will one day come to the table in good faith with a spirit of cooperation and peace. Israel’s security and wellbeing are always at stake, and the Palestinian people deserve a commitment from their leaders to work to create peace and prosperity for all.

Something Smells About Bernie’s Self-declared ‘Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian’ Platform

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Concerned Women for America’s Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison wrote the following opinion article published in Town Hall:

Senator Bernie Sanders’ accusation of bigotry, aimed at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, is ironic given that AIPAC is a bi-partisan group that supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, something that Bernie says he also supports.  Bernie also wants “an independent, democratic, economically viable” Palestinian state, the same objectives outlined in detail in President Donald Trump’s recent peace plan — yet Bernie has publicly rejected that, too.

Something smells about Bernie’s ongoing declaration that he is both “pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian.” He has digressed to the same modus operandi favored by the Palestinians — hurling racist accusations, refusing to engage — with the attitude that nothing is ever good enough.

When “Peace to Prosperity,” President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, was announced last month, the Palestinians escalated violent attacks, injuring and killing both Israelis and Palestinians. Refusing for months to even engage with the U.S., they rejected the plan before even seeing it. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank called it a deceptive plan, expanding Israeli settlements and promoting apartheid (another form of bigotry). Hamas in the Gaza Strip said that armed and united Palestinian resistance against the “occupying power” is the only way to confront the “dangerous deal.”

It is important to realize that this “dangerous” deal that incites violence in the Palestinians, and outright rejection from Senator Sanders, requires Israel to make a significant transfer of land for a new Palestinian state that is comparable in size to the pre-1967 territory of the West Bank and Gaza — something that Sanders says he wants. It also provides substantial opportunity for economic growth with a massive investment of $50 billion supported by new infrastructure.

The economic part of this plan (which makes up at least two-thirds) is particularly significant, as it hopes to empower and create stability among the Palestinians, breaking their cycle of terrorism, poverty, and reliance on foreign aid. Again, these are goals that Sanders has said that a peace plan must have. Estimates for potential economic growth from the investment is to double the (currently stagnate) Palestinian GDP in ten years with the creation of over one million new jobs, cutting the poverty rate in half.

Read the Entire Piece Here:

Historic Peace Proposal

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President Trump announced a historic new peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday. He did this alongside Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, after meeting with Netanyahu’s political rival for the position of PM, General Gantz. Both Netanyahu and Gantz committed to using this plan as the basis for future negotiations with the Palestinians.

Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” is the most detailed plan yet, professing to be more comprehensive and “realistic” than the Oslo Accords of the 1990s with the goal of safeguarding Israel’s security and bringing prosperity and opportunity to the Palestinians. This plan lays the groundwork for negotiations by diving into some of the most complex aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It aims not only “… to end the conflict, (but also) unlock the vast human potential and economic opportunity that peace will bring to Israelis, Palestinians and the region as a whole … given the realities on the ground and in the broader Middle East.”

Chief among these complexities are the suggested borders of a “realistic two-state solution” that gives the Palestinians self-governing authority but “not the powers to threaten Israel.” This is the first time Israel has agreed to tangible lines on a map as a starting point for negotiations in order to progress towards a two-state solution. A conceptual map of what a potential future state of Palestine might look like is included in the plan.

The plan centers on three initiatives to support the economy, people, and government of a “prosperous and vibrant Palestinian society”. However, there are preconditions the Palestinians must meet to be eligible for statehood. As a sign of good faith, Israel has agreed to a four-year freeze on settlements or development on land proposed to be part of a Palestinian state. This gives the Palestinians time to meet the requirements which include reforming their banking system, ending support for terrorism, building their infrastructure and civil society, and negotiating for peace.

The plan includes $50 billion in commercial investment in a future Palestine. This would cut the poverty rate of Palestinians in half which could also serve as a deterrent or alternative to terrorism with better options for the future. These investments would economically connect the Palestinians to the Israelis, as well as with the rest of the region and world. Economic ties disincentivize violence in conflict areas by creating a common interest.

Another historic milestone is support for the plan by Arab neighbors in the region. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are encouraging Palestinian leaders to use Peace to Prosperity as the starting point for negotiations. Ambassadors from Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE attended the announcement of the plan at the White House, reflecting how the tremendous importance of peace extends beyond the Israelis and Palestinians to the region.

It may be that current U.S. challenges with Iran ripened the timing of this plan. Iranian general Qassem Soleimani oversaw Iran’s control of Hamas and Hezbollah who operate and even run parts of the Palestinian territories. A peace plan, especially one supported by the Gulf States, diffuses and perhaps eliminates Iran’s reach into Gaza and the West Bank.

The President has taken decisive action in successive steps that curates an opening for peace. CWA International Affairs is assessing the historic plan and will look for ways to engage in its success. We ask that you pray with us for wisdom for the U.S. administration and for Israel, and that all parties seize this historic moment for the peace and prosperity of the Israelis, Palestinians, and the region.

 

White House Fact Sheet:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-vision-peace-prosperity-brighter-future-israel-palestinian-people/

 

Full Plan:  https://whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Peace-to-Prosperity-0120.pdf

 

CWA Press Release: https://concernedwomen.org/cwalac-applauds-president-trumps-efforts-to-achieve-middle-east-peace/

 

CWALAC Applauds President Trump’s efforts to Achieve Middle East Peace

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Press Releases, Support for Israel, Support for Israel | No Comments

Washington, D.C. — Today President Trump announced his comprehensive plan “Peace to Prosperity” to secure Israeli and Palestinian peace. In attendance with Prime Minister Netanyahu and General Gantz, the leader of Israel’s Blue and White Party, were ambassadors from the U.A.E, Bahrain, and Oman. Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) had this to say:

“Thank you, President Trump, for your unwavering commitment of support for our friend and ally Israel and to building sustainable peace in the Middle East.

“It is our hope that this plan is a catalyst for a real and lasting peace that improves the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians. By bringing together partners within the Gulf states, we envision that a solution may be reached that is beneficial to both parties and supported by allies on both sides of the conflict.

“President Trump has secured the commitment of both Prime Minister Netanyahu and General Gantz to use this plan as the basis for any direct negotiations with the Palestinians. Regardless of the outcome of Israel’s historic March 2020 elections, Israel and the U.S. will continue to work towards peace.

“We hope the Palestinian leadership will come to the table in good faith. The Palestinian people deserve a commitment from their leaders to negotiate a deal that creates peace and prosperity for all.

“Thank you, President Trump, for once again upholding your promise to support Israel and peace in the Middle East with the release of this comprehensive plan. CWALAC looks forward to delving further into the details of ‘Peace to Prosperity’ to see how we might best engage on the path to success.”

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CWA staff with AIPAC staff for briefing

CWA LAC’s Actions on Iran and U.S. targeted killing of Soleimani

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Politics/National Sovereignty, Uncategorized | No Comments

Concerned Women for America has been busy these last eight days to keep you updated and your voice heard in the midst of the targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani and subsequent events. Here are highlights of the work we have done this week to cover this momentous event.

Talking Points

On Friday, January 3, we sent out briefing points to ensure you had a detailed explanation of the targeted killing of Soleimani and the context surrounding these events. Realizing this is a significant moment in history, we want to make sure you have real-time knowledge of what’s happening and what it means for the United States and your family.

Briefing:

CWA International hosted a briefing Tuesday, January 9, with The Heritage Foundation’s Senior Research Fellow on the Middle East, Jim Phillips, for our staff, state leaders, and supporters. Jim gave us an in-depth presentation on Soleimani, Iran’s threat to the United States, their low-intensity war of terror led by Soleimani, Iran’s history of aggression, the threat to Israel and the impact of the death of Soleimani on all of the above. Check out Jim’s article in the Daily Signal for some of his insights on the situation: “How US Strike Against Iranian General Changes Rules of Game in Iraq, Region.”

Hill Letter

CWALAC sent a letter to the House opposing Thursday’s vote on H. Con. Res. 83, the war powers resolution seeking to undermine the President’s ability to react in a timely manner to protect American personnel and facilities and downplay the immediacy of the threat presented by Soleimani. It is important to note a concurrent resolution, like this one, is non-binding—this bill is nothing more than a pseudo-press release by House Democrats. Unfortunately, this bill passed, largely along party lines 224-194, with eight Democrats opposing and three Republicans supporting. One of the Republicans supporting, Rep. Mat Gaetz (R-Florida), said he supported the strike on Soleimani but feels Congress should be consulted for any further action.

(Here is a great article on this resolution and the War Powers Authorization in context of recent events with Iran)

CWA Responds to the Killing of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani

By | Blog, CEO, International, National Sovereignty, News and Events | No Comments

A message from CEO and President Penny Nance:

Most likely, you have been following the U.S. military action taken against Iranian terrorist Qassem Suleimani but I wanted you to have specific talking points, history, and prayer points. This is a major foreign policy event that could have very serious implications for U.S. policy in everything from Energy to Defense.

Please pray for Secretary Pompeo, the President, and our military as they walk through what could become a crisis situation should it continue to escalate.  Remember, Iran is desperate, and its economy is in tatters due to U.S. sanctions. They are on the cusp of another revolution and to unite behind war with the “Great Satan” would suit the Ayatollah Khomeini just fine. Many experts hope that cooler heads will prevail. Much of this can be laid at the feet of the Obama Administration who had a policy of appeasement against the terrorist regime culminating with a $150 billion pay off.

I encourage you to look at news clips from when the Iranians stormed our embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, and held them for 444 days until after President Reagan was inaugurated in January of 1981. President Trump was right to take this head-on. President Reagan’s policy of “peace through strength” is still true.

Click here to read CWA’s talking points on key information concerning the U.S. drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Suleimani.

Finally, below is the email I sent to Secretary Pompeo this morning.

Mr. Secretary,

CWA is 100% supportive of the President’s decision to retaliate against Soleimani and his murderous thug entourage. History has taught us that appeasement only emboldens terrorists and fascist dictators. We are calling on our members to cover you, President Trump, and our military leaders in prayer. We are also sending out talking points today to our entire list and planning a phone briefing with state leaders and supporters as early as Monday. I have been active on Twitter and will continue to give support.  Please let me know if there is anything else we can do. Mostly, I just wanted you and your team to know we have your backs both through prayer and action.

Garrison and Traficant: Anti-Semitism is on the Rise

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Religious Issues, Religious Liberty, Support for Israel | No Comments

Concerned Women for America’s International Affairs team consisting of Dr. Shea Garrison and Ashley Traficant, published an article in The Hill showcasing how Anti-semitism is on the rise throughout the world.

Jeremy Corbyn, the soon-to-be former leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party, was defeated in a landslide election last week.

But while Corbyn announced his resignation and Labour lost dozens of seats, the anti-Semitism of his party remains endemic throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Seventy-five years after the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is on the rise.

Tel Aviv University cites a 13 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks worldwide in 2018, with the U.S., U.K., France and Germany having the highest number of incidents.

According to a CNN survey, memories of the Holocaust are fading while anti-Semitic stereotypes flourish. Forty-four percent of Europeans think anti-Semitism is a growing problem. But 28 percent say it is a response to the actions of Israel, while 18 percent feel it is “a response to the everyday behavior of Jewish people,” meaning a sizeable portion of Europeans blame the victims of anti-Semitism for its increase.

German anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein has even warned that it may not be safe to wear a kippah (Jewish skullcap) in public in Germany. Germany has seen a 70 percent increase in violent acts against Jews since 2017, but not all instances of anti-Semitism are violent. Unaddressed resentment and hateful stereotypes can be precursors of violence.”

Read the Entire Piece in The Hill Here:

CWA Supports the Trump Administration’s stance on Israeli Settlements

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Press Releases, Support for Israel | No Comments

 

CWA Supports the Trump Administration’s

stance on Israeli Settlements

 

Today Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the U.S. agrees with President Reagan’s administration that Israeli settlements are not inconsistent with international law.

Penny Nance, CEO and President, and Dr. Shea Garrison, Vice President of International Affairs for Concerned Women for America released this statement:

“We applaud Sec. Pompeo and the Trump administration for their right stance in declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem consistent with international law. The U.S. will no longer view Israeli settlements as illegal, cancelling a legal position adopted by the U.S. State Department in 1978 by the Carter administration. We stand with Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, who most closely shares our democratic values.”

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