As the Palestinians go to the United Nations to apply for statehood, some in the U.S Congress are gearing up to pass punitive measures in response. In retaliation to the Palestinian initiative, many representatives are threatening to cut all aid — over 500 million dollars a year — to the Palestinian Authority.
US aid serves two purposes:
- Much of the money goes to security operations which prevent violence against Israel;
- The remaining funds support schools, hospitals, and civil society in the West Bank.
Cutting such aid could prove very damaging.
David Makovsy, the director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Project on the Middle East Peace Process, concludes that “if Congressional aid to the Palestinian Authority is suspended and Palestinian security officials…go unpaid, the risk of terror attacks against Israel will grow. So who pays the price for such a cut-off? Let us not kid ourselves. We know what the consequences will be.”
Thankfully, some members of Congress are urging the President to stop such possible aid cuts. But they need our support. That’s why J Street U has launched our campaign: “Fund Peace: Ensure Israel’s Security. Support Palestinian Civil Society.”
TELL CONGRESS: DON’T CUT AID TO THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
As the first step in our campaign, we’re supporting a letter by Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Peter Welch (D-VT) to the President which says that, “the suspension or ending of U.S. aid could undermine the very foundations of a future Palestinian state, undoing the progress that has been made in recent years toward strengthening the PA’s security and governing institutions.”
As supporters of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, we are asking you to send a letter to your representative in Congress asking them to sign the Price-Welch letter. It’s important that they hear from those of us committed to peace and security that we support aid to the PA.
THIS LETTER MATTERS. Many in Congress are fighting to prove who can be more anti-Palestinian. We need to let them know that we see through the rhetoric and are standing with the Israelis and Palestinians who live with this conflict and will suffer the actual consequences of such shortsighted action.
The J Street U at UCLA Team
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