The International Affairs budget includes all of our global, economic, diplomatic, and humanitarian initiatives, including assistance to Israel. Robust foreign assistance to Israel is an important anchor for the peace process, providing Israel with the confidence and assurance needed to move forward with peace negotiations.
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) have been outspoken in support of the peace process. In an April 1998 letter to President Clinton, Rabbi Eric Yoffie wrote that, "Israel's long-term security needs are best served by moving the peace process forward, and the U.S. must play a vigorous role in ensuring that all parties act in accordance with the letter and spirit of the agreements to which they have committed themselves." In its 1995 resolution ("In Support of the Peace Process"), the URJ called for the "United States Government to continue to lend its good offices to the ongoing negotiations for peace; and to continue support for the process through ongoing foreign aid support for Israel and
The Religious Action Center was active in supporting an economic aid package to Israel, the Palestinians, and Jordan to implement the Wye Agreement and to move the Middle East peace process forward. In a November 4, 1999 letter to the House leadership, Rabbi David Saperstein expressed the need to fund Wye as well as other international priorities:
I am writing to express our concerns over the foreign operations bill being considered in Congress.
We feel that it is vital to incorporate the President's commitment to fully fund the Wye aid package. The United States has committed itself, rightly, to help defray the costs of the mid-east peace process, and both our national interests and our integrity depend on our doing so. However, it would be unacceptable to provide these funds at the expense of essential aid from other foreign affairs programs. The Development Fund for Africa, the United States Development Fund and other key programs, especially those affecting Latin America, are already at the lowest funding levels in recent memory. Maintaining a robust foreign assistance program is in the best interest of the United States. Additional cuts will make it impossible for the U.S. to fulfill our international obligations.
We urge you to craft a foreign operations bill that will provide funding for the Wye aid package and for the critical development and humanitarian aid necessary for the United States to maintain our role as the global leader.
The Religious Action Center is committed to educating the American Jewish community, and the American public in general, about the importance of U .S. foreign aid and its moral, political and strategic value throughout the world.