Letter from members of Congress expressing support for the $20 million in direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority

July 21, 2003


The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:


We write to express our support for the $20 million in direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority. We believe this assistance will strengthen Prime Minister Abbas and, we hope, enhance his ability to both achieve an end to terror while providing the Palestinian people with tangible benefits that will demonstrate the value of embracing reform and unambiguously rejecting extremism. Hopefully, with this support, the Palestinian leadership will begin the important process of dismantling the terrorist infrastructure, as called for in this stage of the roadmap. This assistance will also help the Palestinian people confront their pressing humanitarian needs.


On June 25th, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H. Res. 294, a resolution condemning the terrorism inflicted on Israel since the Aqaba Summit and expressing solidarity with the Israeli people. Significantly, the resolution also called on all states "to provide support to the Palestinian Authority in its effort to confront terror," and "to assist the Palestinian people in creating the institutions of a democratic state that will respect the rule of law and live in peace with its neighbors."


The decision to provide this direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority is in full accord with the sense of the House. It recognizes that the new Palestinian leadership has committed itself to ending terror but that to succeed, reformers like Prime Minister Abbas need help from the international community to outflank foes like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It also recognizes the critically important financial reforms and anti-corruption measures that have been implemented by Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayad.


While we support the provision of this particular package of assistance, it is imperative that there is a transparent and effective auditing of its use and distribution. The proper and effective use of this assistance will undoubtedly have an impact on our view of direct assistance to the Palestinians in the future.


American assistance has long demonstrated its importance as a tool to advance our efforts to secure Middle East peace, combat terrorism, and promote U.S. interests in the region. Clearly, the Middle East peace process is now at an important crossroads. The decision to provide this direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority is an important signal of our continued national commitment to achieving peace with security. We stand ready to work with you to achieve our nation’s longstanding goal of finally bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Sincerely,




































































































GARY ACKERMAN LOIS CAPPS HOWARD BERMAN
JIM LEACH AMO HOUGHTON DOUG BEREUTER
HENRY WAXMAN JANE HARMAN JOHN LEWIS
DANA ROHRABACHER CHRIS SHAYS MARK GREEN
BOB FILNER RAHM EMANUEL SUSAN DAVIS
RANDY “DUKE” CUNNINGHAM DARRELL ISSA ADAM SCHIFF
JAN SCHAKOWSKY CHARLES RANGEL DAVID PRICE
EDWARD MARKEY NICK J. RAHALL ROBERT MATSUI
JOHN DINGELL GEORGE MILLER JOHN SPRATT
HILDA SOLIS ALCEE HASTINGS ARTUR DAVIS
JIM DAVIS RAUL GRIJALVA MARCY KAPTUR
BILL PASCRELL TIMOTHY BISHOP CALVIN DOOLEY
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN CAROLYN McCARTHY DALE KILDEE
JESSE JACKSON, Jr. WILLIAM DELAHUNT JAY INSLEE
MELVIN WATT RUSH HOLT BARBARA LEE
RICK LARSEN JIM COOPER LYNN WOOLSEY
SHERROD BROWN JAMES McGOVERN TIMOTHY RYAN
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON BRIAN BAIRD SAM FARR
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON MARK UDALL VIC SNYDER
WM. LACY CLAY JAMES MORAN PETER DeFAZIO
GREGORY MEEKS RON KIND ALBERT WYNN
EARL BLUMENAUER BERNARD SANDERS JULIA CARSON
JIM McDERMOTT BETTY McCOLLUM PETE STARK
MAURICE HINCHEY ANNA ESHOO