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Aid to Palestinians

Congress Must Support Aid to New Palestinian Leadership

 Dear friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

Rational voices of American Jews need to be heard -- now.

As supporters of Israel who believe that there is a real opportunity to move  towards negotiations that would result in peace between a secure Israel and a stable Palestinian state, we ask you to call or write to your Congressional Representatives to urge them to support the Bush Administration's proposal for $200 million in emergency aid to the Palestinians that will be debated tomorrow -- Tuesday, March 8th by the House Appropriations Committee. Congress has been slow to realize that major positive changes have occurred in the Israeli-Palestinian political reality in the last few months; we must make it clear that the American Jewish community  strongly supports this new direction.

In his State of the Union address, President Bush announced that he would ask Congress to approve $350 million "to support Palestinian political, economic and security reforms." This week, Congress will begin consideration of a proposal to send $200 million of this sum to the Palestinians in the form of emergency aid, while the remaining $150 million will be proposed in the President's 2006 fiscal budget. Unfortunately, Representatives Anthony Weiner (D-NY), C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY) are seeking cosponsors for legislation that would, in effect, ban aid to the Palestinians by placing onerous conditions on it. Please call or write to your national representatives to let them know that we, as American Jews, support the aid to the Palestinians, as we support the new momentum toward peace in the Middle East.

The $200 million in emergency Economic Support Funds for the Palestinians is composed of:

  • $60 million for economic revitalization post-disengagement, with all projects implemented by U.S.-selected contractors or private voluntary organizations (PVOs),

  • $90 million to develop the economic, social, political and security infrastructure for a future Palestinian State, again to be implemented by U.S.-selected contractors or PVOs, and

  • $50 million to fund the construction of high-tech terminals in Israel's security barrier designed to speed up the inspection of Palestinian people and cargo.
Last updated: Jan. 23, 2005