Crowley, Fortenberry Urge Passage of Legislation Establishing International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Mar 20, 2015 Issues: Foreign Affairs

(Washington, D.C.) –Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) announced the reintroduction of the bipartisan International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Authorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1489). First introduced in the 113th Congress, the Crowley-Fortenberry legislation would establish a multi-national fund to support grassroots programs that promote peace and reconciliation in the region.

History has taught that no peaceful resolution may arrive, and certainly none will last, without seriously engaging the publics on both sides of the conflict,” said Rep. Crowley. “The U.S. has played a significant leadership role in fostering and supporting people-to-people relations around the world, and creating this fund would continue that effort. And, this kind of work can be an antidote to terrorism because it gives people who want to work together toward reconciliation a path to do so. I urge our colleagues to join us in supporting the establishment of this much-needed Fund.”

“Despite the difficulties and challenges involved in bringing about secure and sustainable peace in the Middle East, the United States has made strong bipartisan efforts over decades to help achieve this important objective,” said Rep. Fortenberry. “We must continue to foster relevant and constructive dialogue among Israeli and Palestinian communities. It is my hope that grassroots reconciliation efforts, however small, may spark renewed hope for the future.”      

The International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace would promote people-to-people efforts to build peace through grants to scale efforts at the grassroots level. The Fund’s resources could assist with a wide array of programs, including education, sports, culture, cross-communal economic development, shared environmental programs, and bring youth from different communities to work together to develop a better understanding of Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions.