Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Welcomes Legislation for Assisting Palestinian Entrepreneurs
On Wednesday, June 5, Senators Tim Kaine, Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, and Cory Gardner together with Representatives Nita Lowey and Jeff Fortenberry introduced legislation to establish the Palestinian Partnership Fund for Peace. This fund would promote economic development in the Palestinian territories by encouraging collaboration between Palestinian entrepreneurs with U.S. and Israeli businesses. While welcoming this legislation as a positive step toward relieving economic pressure in the Palestinian territories exacerbated by the complete elimination of U.S. foreign aid, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) fervently reiterates that only a negotiated end to the Israeli occupation can lead to a lasting peace. A political solution that works toward a just peace and lasting resolution to the conflict must be addressed alongside efforts to address the economic situation.
The full statement can be found here.
Churches for Middle East Peace Joins 17 NGOs in Support of S. Res 171: A resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding restoring United States bilateral assistance to the West Bank and Gaza
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) joined 17 organizations in a letter supporting the introduction of S. Res 171 by Sen. Merkley (OR). Sen. Merkley was joined by Sens. Feinstein, Coons, Cortez Masto, Van Hollen and Leahy. The resolution calls for the Administration to release all bilateral assistance, including humanitarian aid, already appropriated by Congress for fiscal year 2018 by the end of this year. It also calls for further congressional action to clarify that humanitarian assistance already exempted under the Taylor Force Act, should not trigger jurisdiction under the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA).
Kyle Cristofalo, CMEP’s Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, “the decision to cut aid that provides critical services to the most vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza has had a profoundly negative impact on the prospects for peace. Congress must do everything in its power to ensure this aid is restored. We applaud Senator Merkley and all cosponsors as this resolution is introduced. It is a step in the right direction. We call on all Senators to offer their support as cosponsors.”
The full letter can be found here.