US APPROVES $250m TO ADVANCE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DIALOGUE
The US House of Representatives has endorsed the Middle East Partnership for Peace Act, which will deliver US$50 million a year over five years to Israeli-Palestinian coexistence programs and for Palestinian business development.
Immediately following the announcement, the highly-influential Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CMAJO), issued a statement welcoming the decision and the impact it will have in building civil society. It will also encourage grassroots peace-building and economic development between Israelis and Palestinians.
The CMAJO is the recognized central coordinating body representing 53 diverse US-based Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern.
We’re pleased to report that one of drivers behind this announcement is Kenneth Bob, Chair of Project Rozana USA and a veteran lobbyist for Israel-Palestine coexistence.
Mr Bob is also Project Rozana’s representative with the Washington-based Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP). This organisation was one of the powerful voices involved in the House decision.
Its advocacy was applauded by Chairwoman Nita Lowey of the House Appropriations Committee, which led the initiative. She said,
“I want to thank ALLMEP for its tireless commitment to this bipartisan priority.”
Ron Finkel AM, Chair of Project Rozana International, also paid tribute to ALLMEP, which is a coalition of more than 100 non-government organisations building cooperation, equality, coexistence, mutual understanding and peace in the Middle East.
“I want to commend Ken for his quiet diplomacy that has been recognised by CMAJO and ALLMEP. These are important organisations that are results-oriented and in sync with Project Rozana’s priority of building the health capacity of Palestinian society.”
Following the announcement, ALLMEP said in a statement, “We know the transformative power of people to people interactions and believe them to be a prerequisite for long-term peace.” It noted the tireless work of Nita Lowey of New York, who it described as “the pro-Israel stalwart who championed the spending.”
John Lyndon, Executive Director of ALLMEP, confirmed that programs initiated by Project Rozana are well-positioned to receive funding from the package.
“We know people-to-people programs can transform the lives of Israelis and Palestinians and their outlook on the conflict. Now these programs will have the resources necessary to transform entire communities, and the political reality that flows from them.”