CMEP Letter on Senate Amendments

CMEP sent the following message to all 100 Senate offices on Friday November 30:

Three amendments have been introduced to S. 3254, The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) namely SA 3171, SA 3139, and SA 3203, that would severely limit or eliminate US assistance to the Palestinian Authority under various conditions. We believe the amendments are ill-advised and should be opposed. This assistance totaling $490 million in FY 2012 is for security assistance carried out in cooperation with the U.S. and Israel; USAID humanitarian and civil society projects, and budget support for the Palestinian Authority. Reducing or cutting off funds for these would leave Palestinians and Israel less secure, reverse economic, social and civil development in the Palestinian territories, and threaten the Palestinian Authority with financial collapse. These development would cripple US diplomatic efforts to bring about an agreement to end the conflict and impose great human hardship. When similar measures were proposed a year ago they were opposed by many groups including Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren. Israeli Defense officials said if cuts to US assistance to the Palestinian Authority were imposed, Israel would suffer. For all these reasons Churches for Middle East Peace urges that these amendments not be brought to a vote or defeated.