J Street Strongly Opposes Republican Efforts to Gut Palestinian Aid

March 22, 2024

J Street strongly opposes efforts by congressional Republicans to cut US assistance to Palestinians and permanently ban funding for UNRWA – the only organization with the infrastructure, people and expertise to address the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. 

J Street is acutely aware of allegations that several of UNRWA’s 13,000 Gaza-based staff may have taken part in the horrific October 7 attack. We take these allegations seriously. We support full and thorough investigations underway to ensure accountability and initiate any necessary reforms, and urge Israeli authorities to provide investigators with details supporting the allegations. The Biden Administration’s temporary pause on payments to UNRWA shows that a permanent legislated ban is in no way necessary.

“It’s nauseating that while parents are watching children die of starvation and famine spreads across Gaza, MAGA Republicans are focused on amendments to tie the president’s hands and make this nightmare even worse. Being anti-Palestinian doesn’t make one pro-Israel. This focus on cruelty is wildly out of step with the American Jewish community’s values,” said Hannah Morris, Director of Government Affairs at J Street.

“Beyond the clear moral reasons to oppose this effort, this comes just weeks after former security officials warned that fuelling a humanitarian crisis on Israel’s doorstep poses a major risk to Israel’s own security and strategic interests. The blow to America’s international standing and moral authority will also be significant,” Morris said.

On March 10, Commanders for Israel’s Security – an Israeli group comprised of hundreds of former Israeli security officials, including former heads of the IDF and Mossad – warned that the humanitarian crisis was “a threat to vital national interests” and was dealing “cumulative damage to Israel’s security and strategic interests.”