WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (DE), Lindsey Graham (SC), Tim Kaine (VA), and Cory Gardner (CO), along with U.S. Representatives Nita Lowey (NY-17) and Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1), introduced the Partnership Fund for Peace Act of 2019. This legislation would create the Partnership Fund for Peace to facilitate and finance joint economic ventures and people-to-people exchanges between Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans.
The legislation is supported by the following organizations: Alliance for Middle East Peace, AIPAC, J Street, AJC, Americans for Peace Now, ADL, Churches for Middle East Peace, JFNA, Alliance for Peacebuilding, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and IAN.
“I am pleased to re-introduce this bipartisan, bicameral bill to establish a Partnership Fund for Peace to encourage investment in Palestinian entrepreneurs and strengthen ties between Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans,” said Senator Coons. “Job creation is the best way to turn people away from violence. This legislation will promote small businesses and economic growth in the Palestinian territories and foster cooperation and reconciliation in the Middle East. I look forward to working with my Senate and House colleagues to advance this important legislation.”
“I am happy to work with my colleagues on this important issue,” said Senator Graham. “Creating economic opportunities for the Palestinian people outside of the old funding construct is a great way to promote economic opportunity to people who have been systemically abused by their leadership for decades.”
“Creating more opportunities for engagement between Palestinians and Israelis is essential to promoting a peaceful and prosperous future in the region. Our legislation recognizes that achieving peace isn’t possible without cooperation and people-to-people dialogue. This is about laying the groundwork for reconciliation and a lasting resolution,” said Senator Kaine.
“Time and time again, Congress has reiterated its support for a two-state solution that leads to two states for two peoples,”said Congresswoman Lowey. “To aid the pursuit of this dream, this bipartisan legislation would stimulate economic development and build community ties between Israelis and Palestinians. There are no shortcuts to peace, and this bill lays the foundation for this generation and those to come to engage in the hard work of peace-building.”
“We often hear about the ‘the road map for peace in the Middle East,’” said Congressman Fortenberry. “The challenge is laying the proper foundation for the road. Building on previous U.S. efforts at reconciliation, this bipartisan bill is a genuine attempt by the United States to regenerate our historic role in finding creative and imaginative pathways to secure a sustainable peace. This starts by recreating new and better economic and interpersonal linkages for prosperity and interconnectedness between the region’s peoples.”
The text of the bill is available here
as a pdf.