Americans for Peace Now thanks Rep. Ted Deutch, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, for prioritizing a groundbreaking hearing on People-to-people Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding programs.
This week, the Middle East, North Africa and Global Counterterrorism Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee hosted a hearing in support of people to people peacebuilding programs and to learn more about how the Nita Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA) will benefit the work of such programs. We are grateful to Chairman Deutch for prioritizing programs that play an important role in building connections, understanding, and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
Americans for Peace Now was proud to support MEPPA last Congress and is eager to see the funds dispersed. However, MEPPA is not a substitute for humanitarian aid to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We are deeply concerned about the impending September 30th deadline for the FY2020 humanitarian aid funds to be dispersed. We urge Congress and the administration to work to release any holds on this funding before this deadline passes.
Grassroots programs are positive but are not a replacement for seeking a diplomatic solution to the conflict. APN encourages Congress and the MENA subcommittee to maintain focus on discouraging either party to the conflict from taking steps that could harm prospects for peace, including advancing settlement plans in E1, pursuing evictions in East Jerusalem, or inciting violence.