Saturday, October 15, 2011

Urge members of Congress to unfreeze aid to Palestinians

This important action alert from Churches for Middle East Peace

Urge your members of Congress to unfreeze U.S. aid to Palestinians
U.S. Aid is helping lay the foundation for Peace

Last week we found out that members of Congress have placed a hold on about $340 million of U.S. aid to Palestinians in response to the Palestinian application for statehood recognition in the United Nations. This hold impacts the aid funds already allocated for the 2011 fiscal year that ended on September 30.

Your Representative and/or Senator serves on a key committee that is responsible for blocking these funds. Therefore you can have a very real impact on this detrimental policy by writing your elected official today. Let your Representative or Senator know that you oppose this freezing of U.S. aid funds. 

Call or write now to urge your members of Congress to move past punitive measures and continue the funding that is helping to lay the groundwork for a future peace.

The freezing of these funds, which was actually put in place in August, has already impacted some of USAID’s projects on the ground in the Palestinian Territories. Municipal infrastructure projects such as road and building construction have stopped and there is a distinct chance the cut-off in funds could harm health care projects in the region that are seeking to train medical workers and rehabilitate hospitals. Funds have also been frozen that directly impact the Palestinian Security Forces that keep order in the West Bank and therefore the Palestinian Authority as well.

Write to your member of Congress today.  Tell them that the current hold on funding is detrimental to long-term peace efforts.

Many experts and analysts have voiced opposition to this move to cut off funding to Palestinians because it could destabilize the region and damage prospects for future peace. Officials from the Obama Administration, State Department, and development agencies are in negotiations with key members of Congress to unblock the aid.

But your members of Congress are key in changing this policy. Because of their positions on the congressional committees that control these funds, it is vital that they hear from you that you oppose the block on aid to Palestinians. Tell your elected officials in Washington that it is time to move past punitive measures and provide the funding that is vital for U.S., Palestinian, and Israeli interests alike. 

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Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace is a coalition of 24 national Church denominations and organizationsincluding Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions. It works to encourage U.S. government policies that actively promote a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ensuring security, human rights and religious freedom for all people of the region. | 202-543-1222
110 Maryland Avenue NE | Suite 311 | Washington, DC 20002

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