Churches oppose proposed US cuts to support for Palestine

By staff writers
5 Dec 2012

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other church and civil society groups in the United States are working to forestall a backlash against Palestinians.

In the wake of United Nations decision last week to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's status in the General Assembly, US politicians have been proposing punitive responses.

Several senators have put forward resolutions that would have the effect of cutting back assistance and aid to Palestinians.

The funding in question includes $370 million for budget support for the Palestinian Authority.

CMEP point out that this money is essential to humanitarian programmes such as the Augusta Victoria Hospital (a project of Lutheran World Federation) in East Jerusalem.

In addition, $70 million would be cut in aid for security programmes that have been essential to enabling the PA to police the West Bank and, ironically, to cooperate in reducing rocket attacks against southern Israel.

Churches for Middle East Peace says that without this funding, conditions could quickly deteriorate on the ground and further complicate the Obama administration's stated commitment to bring Israel and Palestinians into dialogue.

Appealing to all US citizens, CMEP says: "For the sake of peace, these cuts can't happen. These cuts will harm innocent Palestinian civilians. Tell your senator to say no to aid cuts."

The US visited against Palestinian statehood in the UN, and Britain was among those abstaining. The resolution was carried with a large majority overall.

* An online lobbying initiative against US cuts in PA support has been launched here: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5575/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY...

[Ekk/3]

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