Palestinian Aid in the Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill —
Support the Appropriations, Speak Out against Undue Restrictions

Dear Friends of Brit Tzedek,

Please contact your Congressional Representatives today, calling on them to support the $150 million in Palestinian aid in the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill and to speak out against undue restrictions on that aid.


The full House is scheduled to vote on this legislation as early as Tuesday June 28th, so please send an email and/or call your Representative by early Tuesday morning.

This important bill is coming up for vote in the House of Representatives just as Brit Tzedek delegations from across the country meet on Capitol Hill with 35 Representatives and Senators or key staff. Your emails will strengthen the voice of these delegations as they bring their message in support of a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This $150 million in Palestinian aid — although very small in comparison to the proposed $2.52 billion in U.S. aid for Israel — can be crucial to the building of Palestinian state and civil institutions and infrastructure, particularly in light of the upcoming Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. A stable and functioning Palestinian state and civil society are in the best long-term interests of Israel. 

However, the current provisions of the bill do not permit direct budgetary assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA), thus undermining the PA's position, exactly at a time when it needs strengthening. In addition, the bill has unprecedented and onerous documentation requirements before the appropriated funds can be assigned. Needless delays could have considerable negative impact. This aid is needed now to help make possible a stable Palestinian state and society living in peace alongside Israel. Ask your Representative to support the bill, but to speak out against these undue counterproductive restrictions.

Given the upcoming Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the uncertainty of what will happen in its aftermath, it is particularly critical that funds be available to the Palestinian Authority to bring badly-needed improvements in social services to Gaza, in order to build confidence in the PA and PA President Abbas' Fatah party among Gazan voters.


Please share this Action Alert with family, friends, and colleagues, and tell them about Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.

B'shalom,

Steve Masters, Chair of Advocacy and Public Policy
Diane Balser, CEO

We encourage you to take action by June 29, 2005.
 


Sample Letter:

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Your Congressional Representative
CC: President George W. Bush 

Subject: Support Palestinian Aid and Speak Out against Undue Restrictions

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As your constituent and as an American Jew, I am writing to request that you support the $150 million in Palestinian aid in the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, and speak out against undue restrictions on that aid that would undermine its effectiveness. In particular, I respectfully request that you strongly call for the lifting of the prohibition on direct budgetary assistance to the Palestinian Authority, as well as the removal of unprecedented and onerous documentation requirements which will inevitably cause harmful delays in the assignment of funds.

Particularly in light of the upcoming Gaza disengagement -- a potential first step towards a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, our country must send a strong message of encouragement, both to the Palestinian people and to President Abbas in particular, and provide the material support that would make it possible to move ahead as a partner in peace.

I, along with the members and supporters of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, a network of tens of thousands of American Jews, call on you to take the lead at this crucial time to help bring about a negotiated two-state settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]  

CC: President George W. Bush

Take Action!

Instructions:
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What's At Stake:
The House Foreign Operations Appropriations bill includes $150 in much-needed economic aid to Palestinians.

However, bill provisions block disbursement of funds directly to the Palestinian Authority and impose onerous and unprecedented documentation and auditing requirements. These restrictions would undercut the position of the Palestinian Authority, and significantly delay the implementation of much-needed aid to Palestinians on the ground. Such restrictions are against the best interests of Israel; Israel needs a stable and functioning Palestinian state and civil society for its partner in a peaceful future.

American Jews must call on their Representatives to support the aid appropriations, while asking them to speak out against undue restrictions on the administration of this aid.

Additional links:
"Brit Tzedek Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill, June 27-28, 2005."

"Press Release: "Full Committee Reports FY06 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill." June 21, 2005.

Campaign Expiration Date:
June 29, 2005


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