WASHINGTON—Congress should resistefforts to cut off humanitarian and developmental assistance to Palestiniansfor achieving a higher status at the United Nations, said the chairman of theU.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace in a December 3letter to both houses.
"Such legislationwould not be consistent with U.S. efforts to seek a just and lasting peace inthe Holy Land; it would distract and detract from this goal," said BishopRichard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa. "Assistance to Palestinians, alreadyheavily conditioned, is essential for humanitarian purposes and for buildingcapacity for a future Palestinian state. Cutting aid will only harm the peaceprocess. This is not in the interests of either Israelis or Palestinians wholong for peace."
Bishop Pates senthis letter in response to reports that Congress may consider legislation thatseeks to "punish" Palestinians for achieving the higher UN status. He said theVatican welcomed the UN decision and noted that Pope Benedict XVI called for anend to fighting, terrorism and bloodshed during his historic 2009 visit toIsrael and Palestine. Bishop Pates also reiterated the support of the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops for a two-state solution to peace between Israeland Palestine.
The full text ofthe letter is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/israel-palestine/upload/12-03-2012-Letter-to-Congress-on-Palestinian-Assistance-and-UN-Vote-from-Bishop-Pates.pdf
Keywords: Israel, Palestine, two-state solution,humanitarian assistance, developmental assistance, foreign aid, U.S. Congress,House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Bishop Richard E. Pates, InternationalJustice and Peace, USCCB, U.S. bishops, United Nations
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