In New Letter, 112 Members of Congress Oppose Trump’s Disastrous Cuts to Aid for Palestinians

October 2, 2018

A new letter from 112 Representatives demonstrates significant congressional opposition to the Trump administration’s disastrous moves to eliminate all US humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the West Bank and slash assistance to Palestinian refugees throughout the region.

J Street strongly supports the Representatives’ leadership in opposing the cuts, which exacerbate suffering, threaten Israel’s security and undermine the United States’ ability to serve as a credible mediator in the Middle East.

Led by Reps. David E. Price (D-NC), Peter Welch (D-VT) and Adam Smith (D-WA), the letter makes clear that the Trump administration’s cuts to the Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, and to bilateral assistance for Palestinians, are cruel, dangerous and counterproductive. The Representatives write, “These steps not only threaten the stability of the region; they also undercut the US’s ability to facilitate negotiations that will result in a viable two-state solution to the conflict….the administration’s decisions, whether or not intended to pressure Palestinian leadership back to the negotiating table, are counterproductive to facilitating negotiations or pursuing peace, stability, and security.”

This letter, coupled with a similar message sent to the president last week by over one third of the US Senate, shows that Congress does not support the president’s extreme policies towards Israel and the Palestinians. This administration’s reckless actions can and must eventually be reversed — and replaced with policies that promote Israelis’ and Palestinians’ shared aspirations for a secure and peaceful future.

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