Posted on January 30, 2006 in Press Releases

Let’s not compound disaster, Zogby says

The Arab American Institute (AAI) urges the Bush Administration to reject growing pressure to suspend USAID funds to the Palestinians. Despite concern with the outcome of the recent Palestinian Legislative elections, the Institute says “This is not the time to walk away from the Palestinian people.”

USAID funds are allocated to assist the Palestinian people with infrastructure capacity building, promoting democratic reform, supporting higher education and promoting economic growth. Dr. James Zogby, president of AAI, warns that a suspension of Palestinian aid could weaken Palestinian moderates. AAI is leading a campaign to mobilize supporters to urge members of Congress to continue U.S. aid to the Palestinians.

“The notion that this money goes to the Palestinian Authority (PA), and will therefore benefit Hamas, is wrong. Funds go to U.S. and Palestinian private contractors and civil society institutions. Suspending this aid would do grave damage to Palestinian society and cause the U.S. to become even more isolated from Palestinian moderates. Biting off our noses to spite our faces is not a smart approach,” Zogby says.


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