Christians United for Israel (CUFI) claims to be the largest “pro-Israel” organization in the United States, representing 10 million “committed Christian Zionists” who advocate for policies advantageous to Israel. Pastor John Hagee founded the organization in 2006 and still serves as its chairman, leading its regional “ministry engagement coordinators” and campus-based staff who reach out to college students.. Registered as a church with the IRS, the organization is primarily concerned with U.S.-Israeli relations, opposing the BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) movement, and countering anti-semitism.
The CUFI Action Fund, the organization’s 501(c)4 action arm, lobbies for policy changes at the federal and state levels, including widespread anti-BDS legislation and support for former President Trump’s controversial decision to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
CUFI engages in anti-ESG activity by criticizing how ESG rating systems impact businesses affiliated with Israel—largely due to the country’s ongoing violation of international humanitarian law. Working with the Orthodox Union (OU), CUFI has been involved in a number of high-profile cases in which it successfully argued that the investment research firm Morningstar violated state laws by negatively rating businesses that engage with Israel. In 2022, 18 attorneys general joined a Missouri-led investigation into whether Morningstar’s ESG “ratings unit violated a Missouri law aimed at protecting Israel from a campaign to isolate the Jewish state over its treatment of Palestinians,” though no findings have yet been made public in the investigation.
In March 2023, OU and CUFI sent a joint letter to the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) thanking its members for “working to thwart companies seeking to use Americans’ retirement savings to advance anti-Israel positions.” Former CUFI Action Fund Legislative Director Jason Stverak attended SFOF meetings and spoke on an SFOF panel titled “Defending America’s Economic Freedom (Part 2)” at the 2021 SFOF Fall National Meeting in Orlando, Florida.
CUFI is registered as a church with the IRS, meaning it is not required to disclose its finances.