Donovan Condemns Anti-Israel U.N. Funding
Staten Island, NY – November 21, 2017…. Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11), who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and 22 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter urging U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to investigate an anti-Israel proposal issued by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process. The U.N. plan provides $1.3 billion in funding under the guise of humanitarian aid to politically train Palestinians and develop programs to advance the prospect of Palestinian statehood.
Congressman Donovan said, “Recent resolutions and proposals coming from the U.N. underscore dangerous anti-Israel sentiments. Funding politically motivated programs to support the creation of a Palestinian State under the mask of humanitarian aid is a misuse of taxpayer funds and severely hampers a true path to peace. Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East, deserves to be treated fairly.”
The United Nations Framework for the State of Palestine would provide “international accountability mechanisms” to hold Israel accountable for alleged violations of international law and develop programs to advance the prospect of Palestinian statehood. However, the proposal fails to mention the list of Palestinian violations under international law, including human rights abuses, inciting violence, and financially rewarding terrorists.
Donovan has been a steadfast supporter of Israel in Congress. Last week, he voted to pass out of committee the Taylor Force Act, legislation he cosponsors that would end U.S. financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it stops compensating terrorists. Last year, he cosponsored and helped pass H. Res. 729, which expressed support for a final military assistance agreement between the U.S. and Israel. Donovan has previously toured Israel and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Full text of the letter below (PDF version here):
Dear Ambassador Haley:
We write to express our deep concerns regarding “the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the State of Palestine” between the United Nations and Palestinians. In light of the June 15, 2017 report by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, it is clear that once again Israel is being singled out for vilification.
When the United States abstained from U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, you justly stated before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that this was “one of the lowest points in our country.” We agree with you. After already targeting the integrity of Israel, the United Nations appears to be attempting another attack with the distribution of this $1.3 billion. This agreement will include training Palestinians “to effectively access international accountability mechanisms in order to hold Israel accountable for its violations under international law.” It is our fear that the United Nations is using the cover of humanitarian assistance to provide political support to create a Palestinian State. Furthermore, this document cites explicit support to Palestinian institutions to “challenge the occupations impact,” in coordination with 16 different U.N. branches. We strongly condemn the discriminatory misuse of taxpayer funds to provide politicized tools to target Israel.
This document fails to mention the list of Palestinian violations under international law, including rampant human rights abuses, inciting violence, financially rewarding terrorism, and squandering aid to the Palestinian Authority. The use of development assistance like this is unprecedented and should not be tolerated.
We support your efforts at the UN to ensure that Israel is treated fairly. To that end, we urge you to investigate and confirm the details of this funding agreement and report back to Congress on your findings as well as available courses of action on how you believe the United States should address this development.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.